FRANKFORT, Ky. (May 21, 2015) – One of our greatest presidents and Kentucky native, Abraham Lincoln, once said of our country, “America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.” That quote comes to mind as we gather in the coming days to honor those who have fought and died in wars foreign and domestic to continue to guarantee the freedom that makes us the envy of other nations and their people around the world. By the time we gather for Memorial Day, Kentucky will have selected candidates to represent both parties for the office of Governor and Lt. Governor, Attorney General, and other statewide offices. According to data released days before the May primary election, the Secretary of State’s Office predicted only one in 10 registered voters would cast a ballot. I wonder when our forefathers first decided to take up arms and fight against the tyranny of the kings and queens they would imagine millions of Americans would not take the opportunity to freely choose who will represent them. Since those first shots were fired in support of a free America, millions of our men and women have died in battle to keep what our nation was built on intact, and help other nations escape the grip of brutal leaders bent on the destruction of their freedom. Thinking about it brings up the question, are we taking our freedom in this country for granted? I know when I speak to a soldier currently serving abroad, or a veteran who shares stories of losing a friend in battle, you can see in their faces or hear in their voices the understanding of how important their roles are in defense of the United States and the basic foundations our country was based upon. Last week marked the 228th anniversary when a Constitutional Convention was gathered in Philadelphia, with George Washington presiding, to begin work on what would become our nation’s Constitution. They did so with a fresh outlook on our nation, and the recent memory of the lives lost to reach that point. As we gather for the various ceremonies to honor those who have fought and died, let’s also take the time to appreciate what Memorial Day stands for and have a refreshed appreciation for what we have been given. For as Ronald Reagan once said, “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in their bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on to them to do the same.”
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