As I sit before my computer on the porch overlooking the beautiful hills and forests of my part-time home in California (I live in Ethiopia most of the time) I am moved by the freedom to conduct business and live a life far away from the strife many others face across the world. My experience of moving to Africa was quite a revelation and I'm so thankful to have served as a humanitarian volunteer in that peaceful and safe capitalist democracy, while the rest of Africa seemed to explode with murderous conflicts each passing day. Truly, Ethiopia is like an oasis on the African Continent, as the USA is an oasis on Earth.
The reason I can happily pound out my thoughts of free expression and even conduct worldwide commerce on my laptop while sipping my morning coffee on the porch of my dear friend's multi-million dollar mansion is because of the brave souls of the US military that gave their very lives to protect the freedom that I and so many generations of other Americans enjoy but, regrettably, often take for granted.
My grandfather, Peter Senior, served in WWI. My father, Peter Junior, served in the Pacific battlegrounds and until he passed away a little under two years ago, was one of the last remaining combatants who stormed Iwo Jima and precipitated the defeat of Imperial Japan. My dear father is featured, along with a half dozen other Iwo Jima veterans, each anniversary of that immortal battle on the Discovery Channel in a feature entitled, "Going Back." Watch it if you can. It's the "real deal."
I served my country as a US Army infantry soldier at the age of 17 at the end of Viet Nam and while I was blessed not to have gone overseas, I lost many fine young fellow soldiers to that infamous war. We, as Americans and indeed the entire world, owe a debt of gratitude for every single American life lost in the preservation of Freedom that marks America as the one true Superpower and the Forever Guardian of the Free World.
As you all enjoy a peaceful and fun filled Memorial Day weekend gathering with your loved ones, take a moment and bow your heads for the brave souls that gave their lives for the Freedom we all enjoy as Americans.
God bless America.