Today we honor our nation’s finest, who made the ultimate sacrifice so that Americans today and in future generations can enjoy life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness on our own terms.

Not under the terms of the Nazis, who slaughtered six million Jews during the Holocaust, or Communist regimes that deny their citizenry basic freedoms and human rights. And not under the Islamic State, where thousands of innocents are being tortured or executed for not adhering to its extremist religious ideology.

On Memorial Day we are reminded of two crucial realities: Freedom is always worth fighting for, and it doesn’t come cheap.

It comes at the cost of more than 1 million Americans who’ve lost their lives fighting in wars throughout our nation’s history, each possessing a common thread and purpose: to protect life and liberty. A liberty that allows us to choose our own religions without being slaughtered like we saw in Egypt last week, where Islamic State vermin killed dozens of Coptic Christians for simply worshipping a different God.

Today in those parts of the Islamic world under Sharia law, women are denied basic human rights, equality and dignity. Too many are forced into burqas and into loveless marriages — and may face the threat of honor killings if they don’t comply. And most heinous are the scores of girls being robbed of a childhood and sold off as sex slaves under the despicable practice of child brides.

Thousands of U.S. soldiers have lost their lives battling radical Islam to protect American women and our daughters from having to live under that type of house of horrors here at home.

Since 9/11 we’ve lost thousands of brave soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan trying to prevent attacks like the hijacked airplanes carrying our loved ones that were flown into U.S. buildings and the bombs that went off at our marathon. Or in the case of our U.K. allies, prevent innocent children from getting blown to bits at music concerts.

Throughout history, our soldiers combated innumerable enemies who threatened our freedom and way of life. Today’s national security threats we face are no less dangerous.

As we consider these threats we must remember that the Constitution and our flag we so dearly cherish are merely symbolic emblems of freedom unless the courageous among us are willing to fight to protect them. Those warriors are our fallen soldiers we honor today.

God bless their souls. All heroes.

Adriana Cohen is host of “The Adriana Cohen Show,” heard Wednesdays at noon on Boston Herald Radio. Follow her on ­Twitter @AdrianaCohen16.


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