THE FOUNDATION OF THESE UNITED STATES was paved with the blood of men and women. Their blood cries out from the ground across this landscape and around the world. Their sweat and their tears built our government. Their sacrifice our families. That they knew the hour they had been placed in and determined to fight there gave birth to the dreams of those whose lives they protected. Wrapped in a flag, their bodies were buried. Their spirit was not. Alive still among them are those of us who remain, and we carry onward the bricks which lay beneath their feet. Set in stone, carved in granite, and washed clean by the years of our hard labor, as did they to resist the oppressor, we commit to push back where we’ve been pushed in, to push forward where demons have pushed us aside. As did they, we look fear in the face and swallow it. Their deaths ask this of us. Their deaths, today, lifted in memorial beg of us, not a gun but a sword. Not a fight nor a battle but a ceremony and the promise that for what they gave up, we will carry things onward, and one step at a time refashion the unity which adorned this nation from the moment that first one, an American in promise, wore his courage for our country and died for it.
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Suzanne D. Williams, Author