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Memorial Day – a day to pause and reflect

By Staff | May 29, 2010

“They” are ever present, strong, silent, respectful, obedient and a sign of the times.

If you think that “they” refers to the men and women who unite together in force to protect and serve this nation in order to perpetuate our fundamental freedoms as set forth in the U.S. Constitution by our forefathers over 230 years ago YOU ARE CORRECT.

The armed forces have been with us since the Revolutionary War and will always offer a strong presence in this fractured world we live in where peace is elusive. The War Department now called the Department of Defense will supply the best guard this nation has. That’s the way it was and will always be.

So this week leads up to Memorial Day, we should take pause from our hectic schedules which are jammed with activities we choose to do and remember the brave souls who choose to serve their country. We must give thanks for all of our freedoms that have been fortified by the blood shed by so many U.S. Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, Air Force and Coast Guard. We need to give thanks for the sacrifices our military protectors give so we may have freedom of speech, freedom of the press, the right to bear arms, the freedom to send our children to school to learn to read and write, and to have the freedom to worship God in the way we choose. Remember to thank the veterans who are your friends and relatives, neighbors and co-workers.

While these men and women who serve make many sacrifices far from home, I cannot help but remember their loved ones left behind to carry on the parents, spouses, significant others, and especially the little children. They too are caught up in making sacrifices along with those serving.

At this juncture, I am going to repeat the first sentence of this column:

“They” are ever present, strong, silent, respectful, obedient and a sign of the times.

On a recent drive to Des Moines to visit my daughter, I traveled the very scenic Highway 4 which provides breathtaking Iowa scenery that varies with every trip. The one thing that is a constant fixture on my route is the huge wind farm in Pocahontas County. It seems as if there are endless wind turbines that go through the motion of infinite spinning, quietly and calmly, as traffic passes by. They in turn are much like our military as the wind turbines are ever present, strong, silent, respectful, obedient and a sign of the times.

For those of you wondering how they are respectful, think about our Earth and how these massive “soldiers” stand tall and produce energy from Iowa’s commanding winds. The process does not strip anything away from our delicate environment. Like those serving in uniform, these machines are obedient as they do what they are programmed to do by an equally responsible and dedicated young group of wind turbine technicians who provide an energy alternative that America calls its own.

The footprint of the wind turbine is now an indelible presence in America’s countryside and definitely a sign of the times.

As my gaze is attracted to these colossal energy-producing fixtures, I am reminded of this country’s strength, integrity, know-how and constant determination to avoid the oppressive hand of terroristic tyrants.

Take time on Memorial Day to be with your family and friends. Take part in one of the many military observations in Estherville and pay tribute to our military, especially to those who perished. If you can’t fit any of these scheduled events into your hectic lifestyle, find a minute or two to visit Library Square/ Emmet County Courthouse and walk among the many American flags which flutter in Iowa’s best natural resource. Then think about where you and this nation of ours would be without our military presence.