30 May, 2022 Memorial Day: A Tribute to the Fallen
By Summer Lane
Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
This sonnet was written by a woman named Emma Lazarus. It is called The New Colossus, and it is most famously engraved at the base of the Statue of Liberty in New York. It brings to mind the quintessential American dream: a family sailing over rough seas, stepping foot on Ellis Island, peering up at the lovely lady with her torch that holds “imprisoned lightning” and declares, “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free…”
The American dream, ever struggling forward and ever-assaulted, continues to live on today, despite the beleaguered state of our world. Despite the ravages of crisis after crisis. Despite the terminal failures of poor leadership or catastrophic policies put into place year after year, the American spirit longs to soar to new heights, to capture the imagination, and to innovate, elevate, and renew the human soul.
America, that shining city on a hill, the starting point from which Puritans and Quakers and merchants and explorers and fur traders and tobacco farmers built the gritty and solid foundation of a New World. A country deeply rooted in individualism and hard work and undeniable protection from “Divine Providence,” as so many Founding Fathers would observe before, during, and after the bloody Revolutionary War was fought and won.
Today, we pause to remember the men and women in uniform who have given their lives for the cause of freedom. Americans who have fallen in the field of battle to uphold our right to worship freely, speak freely, and protect our families without fear of tyrannical consequences.
Today, we acknowledge that America is uniquely positioned as the last hope of the world, the final escape from despotism and communism and dictatorships. Despite her flaws, America is still standing, and we have our fallen warriors to thank for that.
Saluting the Casualties of War
Revolutionary War: 4,435 deaths
War of 1812: 2,260
Mexican War: 13,283
Civil War: 364,511 (Union Soldiers)
Spanish-American War: 2,446
World War I: 116,516
World War II: 405,399
Korean War: 36,574
Persian Gulf War: 383
There are many more soldiers who have lost their lives fighting in the Middle East, between Iraq and Afghanistan. We also pause to salute the 13 American soldiers who perished in a devastating attack in Kabul in 2021, and our prayers are with their families this Memorial Day weekend as they reflect on the lives of their fallen warriors.
Here are the Counter Culture Mom Show, we offer a prayer of gratitude to God for the blessings of living in a free country, and we acknowledge that freedom is never free. We pray for the continued protection of American freedoms and ideals, and we pray for the safekeeping of our troops who are in harm’s way today.
Happy Memorial Day Weekend.
The opinions in this article are specific to its author, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the entire Counter Culture Mom team.
Casualty record information provided via the Congressional Research Service’s lists and statistics on American war and military operations casualties.
Summer Lane is the #1 bestselling author of 30 books, including the hit Collapse Series and Resurrection Series. She is an experienced journalist and columnist who reports on news within the U.S. and abroad. Additionally, she analyzes politics and policies in weekly op/Eds on The Write Revolution.
Summer is also a mom and wife who enjoys rural country living, herding cats, and gardening. She is passionate about writing about women’s issues, parenting, and politics from a theologically-grounded perspective that points readers to the good news of the gospel.
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