What does being an American mean to you? Each of us has our own ideas of what makes up the character of our great nation, but there are certain indivisible principles that we all hold dear. We are a people who subscribe to the values of freedom and equality. Our heritage is rooted in the belief that all men and women are entitled to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
To me, being an American is more than just an issue of residency or birthplace. It marks an adherence to these fundamental ideals and a lifelong dedication to our country and fellow citizens.
Throughout history, the United States military has safeguarded our constitutional rights and protected the American public. The freedom we all enjoy comes at a high cost, and many of our brave countrymen and women have lost their lives in its defense.
On May 29, people across the nation will observe Memorial Day to honor the monumental sacrifice of our fallen soldiers. The holiday is a chance to show our appreciation for their selflessness and to pay tribute to their legacy.
From Iraq to Korea, our soldiers have dotted the globe in defense of our liberty. Those Americans who fought and died for this cause deserve our utmost gratitude. They left their homes and families to serve our nation. We can all be proud of our military and recognize that the rights and privileges we exercise every day are possible solely through their perseverance.
Memorial Day reminds me that our governmental system would not be possible without the unending work of our soldiers. The fabric of our democracy is stitched together with their dedication. In times of war and conflict, the price of freedom steepens, and we must honor those men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice to secure it for future generations.
As you gather together with family and friends on May 29, I hope that you will take some time to reflect upon the true meaning of Memorial Day. This long weekend is not only a time for cookouts and neighborhood block parties; it is also an opportunity to show our respect for the deceased who gave their lives for the American people. I hope that you and your families enjoy your day off and join the rest of the nation in honoring our fallen heroes.
Steve Huffman currently is serving his second term as state representative for the 80th Ohio House District, which covers Miami County and parts of Darke County. He also is the former Miami County Coroner.