“The nation which forgets its defenders will be itself forgotten,” said Calvin Coolidge, accepting the Republican nomination for vice president in 1920.

“In the aftermath, we are because they were,” offered author R.J. Heller.

Observed photographer Bob Richardson, “They were all in and they were all together, one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

“Courage is almost a contradiction in terms,” said G.K. Chesterton, the iconic English essayist. “It means a strong desire to live taking the form of readiness to die.”

From evangelist Billy Graham, “When a brave man takes a stand, the spines of others are often stiffened.”

“For love of country, they accepted death,” said President James A. Garfield.

Said classic poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, “They are dead; but they live in each Patriot’s breast, And their names are engraven on honor’s bright crest.”

“This nation will remain the land of the free only so long as it is the home of the brave,” said Elmer Davis, the great World War II-era radio reporter.

Fly the flag this Memorial Day weekend, dear reader. Honor the sacrifices of the fallen. Honor the memories of the brave. For, indeed, “we are because they were.”

— Colin McNickle

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