Stepping outside I’m serenaded by the sound of cicadas ramping up in the morning heat. This is day #2 of their song. I ‘m still charmed, even as I know by day #12 I’ll wish I’d never heard them at all. By the end of two weeks their dead bodies will carpet the deck. I remind myself this is the last year I’ll ever hear this marvel, since their cycle is every 17 years. Or I’ll be in my nineties and  thinking them a nuisance. Likely I’ll have gone to glory before 2033.

This afternoon I’ll take my margarita outside beneath the sun umbrella and enjoy the serenade. I best remember the song they sang when I was 26, standing on my brother’s deck in the woods surrounding his house. We could hear them chewing. Very eerie, staring high into the green canopy, listening to the thrumming and chewing.

Today we recall American sacrifice, to celebrate those wounded and dead in war. Our legacy is worth celebrating. However many bad choices we make, I believe we can be known as a noble people, and frequently thankless for our sacrifices for the world. We cherish freedom even as we take it for granted, hardly aware that in many corners of the globe reside cultures who fear freedom, certainly don’t welcome it, have no idea how to handle it and fail at implementing it, to our chagrin.

Freedom is a hard sell. It comes with requirements. Hard work. Dedication. Socialist countries reject those things, happy to assign those to their governments. At the same time, the visible fruits of our freedom are envied by those countries.

Never mind.Keep doing your own successful thing.

War, however our advances in waging it, is still costly. And sometimes necessary. I’m not sure I agree that we should go to war to impose freedom on a country that doesn’t want it. Freedom is not a snap of the fingers. Removing an oppressor doesn’t usher in freedom. It can unleash hell. It can’t be a knee jerk response. The Middle East is not rife with a Hitler or a Bataan march. It is much more insidious. Hair raising in its scope and plan. In its simplest form it demands the rest of the world will accept a cult philosophy or die. That is a lot of extermination.

Our belief system embodies Judao-Christian thought and practice. Whatever you believe or how you practice it, you  have a guiding system or framework for how you live your life in tandem with your fellow man. Unless you are Muslim, it’s not Allah. Understand: a gauntlet has been laid down. Not just for how you act. But how you think.

230,000 men and women lie in Arlington so you can keep that privilege. Countless others never came home. Freedom is worth the cost. Never doubt it. Forfeit it and those Americans died in vain.

Celebrate what was done for you. It’s Memorial Day.



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