Our priceless freedom isn't free.Time and time again, it calls for a high price to be paid. As we prepare to honor and remember those who have given their lives for our country, I thought it would be appropriate to share some excerpts from my husband Ron's Memorial Day speech from 2008, when he spoke at both Bryan and Montpelier's cemetery ceremonies.
Ron served 3 tours as a Marine, in Viet Nam,and later retired from the Air Force after 20 years of military service.He is 100% disabled as a result of exposure to Agent Orange,and is the most patriotic person I know. He's also a gifted speaker, and I'm proud to share with you here,what he shared with many 2 years ago.
"Today, our country will pause to remember and honor those faithful and dedicated Americans who have forfeited their lives on the field of battle to secure freedom and liberty for our nation and our allies.
"The Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines we pay tribute to this day are not all strangers, though we may know few of them personally.
"We do understand the reality that they are all truly members of our family, the family of America. As each life was given, we all suffered loss. The true potential of our fallen warriors will never be known. I believe that every family represented here today has been touched by the loss of a veteran.
"As we witness the parades and attend these services, please pause to consider how many thousands, and even hundreds of thousands across this great nation, have given their lives in defense of our country. As the solemn meaning of Memorial Day embraces our hearts and minds,we must do what we can to recognize and salute this nation's most valiant citizens.
"It isn't fate or chance that made the United States of America what it is today.God established this nation through the hard work of faithful
"Christians who were seeking a place in this world where they could live, work and worship freely. But it also continues to thrive,in part,because of the tremendous sacrifices of those we honor here today.
"At this time, you and I are far from the battlefield, and we must thank God for that! However, we cannot allow ourselves the luxury of being so busy enjoying our freedom that we forget to count the cost. The following statement was found on a food ration box during the battle for Khe Sahn,during the Viet Nam war.'For those who fought for it,freedom has a flavor the protected will never know.'It is not a note of sarcasm, but a simple truth.
"Will our nation ever be conquered by a foreign enemy? Only God knows. But as long as we have courageous citizens who will stand in the gap and fight for liberty and freedom, it is less likely.Our military forces are those courageous citizens. Please continue to support them any way you can,but especially through prayer.
"On this Memorial Day, let's not forget the fact that concerning our military veterans, 'All gave some, but some gave all.' Support, honor and pray for your nation's warriors for freedom and liberty. Thank you and may God bless America".
If you haven't enjoyed any asparagus yet, I hope you'll consider trying these two favorite recipes of mine. Asparagus is low in calories, high in folic acid, a good source of Vitamins A, B6, C, calcium, potassium, iron and thiamine, and has fiber also.
2 lbs. fresh asparagus
olive oil-garlic powder-salt & pepper
Preheat oven to 375. Trim and clean asparagus.(If you bend the stalk, it will naturally break where the tough part begins). Dry and lay on a cookie sheet in a single row. Drizzle a little oil over the stalks;toss asparagus until lightly coated. Season with spices and bake until browned and tender, stirring once or twice. I normally bake this 15-20 minutes(total time),depending on the size of the stalks. Try this roasting method with other veggies as well--sweet potatoes,brussel sprouts,carrots,or squash.
1 sleeve Ritz crackers, crushed
4 TB. butter, melted
2-15 oz. cans asparagus spears,drained
1-8 oz. can sliced water chestnuts, optional
2-3 hard boiled eggs, peeled and chopped
1/2 c. evaporated milk
1 can cream of mushroom soup
Preheat oven to 350.Grease 9"X9" baking dish. In small bowl, mix cracker crumbs and butter; place half in bottom of prepared dish. Layer asparagus, water chestnuts, and eggs on top of crumbs. In small bowl, mix milk and soup; pour over top. Sprinkle remaining cracker crumbs over top. Bake uncovered for 30 minutes or until bubbly.
This month marks my first year anniversary writing for this column. Thanks so much for your support and encouragement.