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Take Time to Remember


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Weekly Standard:

American identity, character, and civic life are shaped by many things, but decisive among them are our national memories—of our long history, our triumphs and tragedies, our national aspirations and achievements. Crucial to the national memory are the words our forebears wrote, to show us who we are and what we might yet become. Robust citizenship is impossible without national attachment. National attachment is thin at best without national memory. And national memory depends on story, speech, and song.


Human memory is precarious and requires steady safekeeping. As Samuel Johnson sagely observed, “Men more frequently require to be reminded than informed.” We take things for granted. We are distracted. We allow important matters to slip from consciousness. These tendencies are exacerbated in the American republic, with its emphasis on innovation, progress, and the freedom each person has to make himself anew. Americans can enjoy our blessings of liberty, equal rights, enterprise, and religious freedom without consciously appreciating the deeds and stories of those who have made these blessings possible and who have handed them down to us. It goes without saying how collective memory is imperiled today, in an age defined by instant messaging and other enthusiasms for the ephemeral.

Against the rushing stream of time, our national holidays are intended to be days of commemoration—not simply days for extending the weekend or getting bargain mattresses. Our holidays not only provide time for remembrance of things past. At their best, they also invigorate us in the present by attaching us to thoughts, deeds, and sentiments that can enrich our lives today and tomorrow. One among our holidays alone bears the name and the specific call to remembrance: Memorial Day.snip
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If you enjoyed/learned something more here at You Tube: American Veterans Center
On this page are videos from the American Veterans Center, an educational foundation dedicated to preserving and promoting the experiences of America's military men and women.

This site contains largely first-hand accounts from the U.S. military's most distinguished veterans and active duty service members. To learn more about the American Veterans Center and meeting these veterans in person, visit American Veterans Center
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