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This past Monday we solemnly commemorated Memorial Day, a day to honor the soldiers who have fallen in the service of our country.
Since March 2003, the names of more than 1,660 American soldiers have been added to the rolls of the fallen. In addition, the war in Iraq has wounded over 12,000 men and women fighting in our nation's uniform. Some will recover fully, many others will not.
This Memorial Day, I thought of the thousands of men and women wounded in service to our country as well as those who were killed. I hope you did too. Not just this past Monday, but every day. It is our responsibility as citizens of a free republic to understand the cost of war.
One good way to make Memorial Day meaningful is to consider how you will respond to the next call for a war for the "good of the country." How much effort will you expend to see that we have all exhausted all options before we ask our men and women to pay the ultimate price or be maimed for life?
Will you accept the word of the government without question or will you demand solid proof of the government's claims? Will you demand that Congress accept co-responsibility for a war by passing a real "Declaration of War?" or will you let them get away with saying "I gave the President flexibility." The blood and limbs of our service members are precious; don't give them away again on a simple assertion of threat not believed by the target's neighbors. If you honor our soldiers in death, honor them in life by making their use a true last resort.