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Memorial Day - Have American Principles Died on the Battlefield?

Published in Blog on May 23, 2022 by Cynthia Kisby

Historically, Memorial Day evolved from a post-civil war tradition of decorating the graves of soldiers who died in service to our republic. Some of us might even remember the holiday being called Decoration Day. Those early citizens honored and respected the patriots who sacrificed everything to uphold the rule of law and ideals of American liberty.  

Today we may have forgotten the original intent and significance of May 30th. When Congress, in 1971, decided to change the actual dates of specific holidays, the focus shifted to just another three-day weekend. Memorial Day became a time for the start of summer fun, family and friends, beer, and cookouts. 

How many families make it a point to visit a cemetery or church to give thanks for someone who cared enough about our civilization to die in its defense? At best, we have drifted into a vague place of remembering our own loved ones who have passed.

What exactly is it about America that is worth dying for? 
In 1776, America was conceived as a free nation, under God, where the people would govern themselves. Self-governance was a radical idea given that all previous nations and empires were ruled by a variety of tyrannical kings, queens, clerics, or warlords. We still sometimes refer to that new form of organizing a society as “the great American experiment.”

Our 246-year-old experiment started with a hypothesis that self-governance could succeed. Over time, cultural, scientific, and technological challenges continue to test this theory. Today’s Americans are not the same Americans who fought for freedom in a revolutionary war. We have forgotten what tyranny looks and feels like, as well as what efforts and virtues are required to resist it. 

Our founding fathers had justifiable confidence that the then virtuous citizens of the 13 colonies would cherish and protect the right to decide their own fate. After all, most of those citizens came to America seeking religious and economic self-determination. 

Early settlers demonstrated an understanding of both self-reliance and self-restraint. They understood that their communities could only prosper if they all agreed to follow certain laws, but more importantly, above and beyond the laws, they held each other to high moral standards. Individualism was valued, but not at the cost of the survival of the colony.

What kind of Americans are we now?
Today every made-up, unique identity is more protected than the good of the community. We have allowed “under God” to be removed from our purpose of life. Many are willing to let the federal government make and fund all their important life decisions. Citizenship is meaningless when anyone who illegally crosses our borders can vote to decide the fate of all.

The wise scribes who created our Constitution attempted to prevent the decline and deterioration that plagued ancient Greek democracies and Roman republics by building separation of powers into the structure of our government. We have undermined that separation through our own inattention. 

In today’s culture, power accumulates not only in government but even more in technology, education, science, and entertainment. That power is uncensored and unbalanced. Author Oz Guinness describes these concepts in A Free People’s Suicide: Sustaining Freedom and the American Future. We should not let suicide happen because of our fear of being labeled, humiliated, or our own pure laziness.

What to do?
Did anyone ever tell you that you would be judged by the company you keep? Unfortunately, today we are more enthralled with the sordid escapades of the Kardashians than the honorable accomplishments of Washingtons, Franklins, Hamiltons, or Jeffersons. Is this really our choice? Or is this a subtle example of submitting to the tyranny of mainstream media? Why should we let network CEOs define our values?

Convention of States (COS) fosters an environment where citizens can relearn the skills of self-governance, plus the virtues, courage, and character required to honor our heroes and history. Instead of accepting the dictates of a few radical activists, COS helps citizens align with the more traditional principles that our country was founded on. 

COS proposes solutions to our current unbalanced situation through an Article V Convention proposing amendments for the U.S. Constitution. A return to the originally intended separation of powers would come from the COS-proposed term limits for federal officials, fiscal restraint on federal spending, and reduction of federal bureaucracies. 

COS volunteers have access to the COS University where a wealth of information reminds us of not only our rights, but also our duties as citizens. Why not join a group of people who are working on solutions rather than just lamenting the decline of our precious freedoms? 

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