By Jean Garton
Editor’s note. Monday is Memorial Day. I often asked Jean, who passed away in December 2016, to write about commemorative dates, the kinds of days where Americans are encouraged to think about who we are as a people.
Jean, my friend of more than 30 years and the author of the pro-life classic “Who Broke the Baby?” sent me this post just prior to Memorial Day, 2016. I am re-running her great message as a tribute to her and an inspiration to us all.
On May 30, 2016, the United States again observed Memorial Day.
First called Decoration Day, it is a date set aside in 1868 to remember the men and women who lost their lives in wars fought in the then short history of our beloved country.
While always a poignant day, it also a grateful day. Together, as a nation, we remember the freedoms we enjoy because of the valor and sacrifice of the members of our military services.
Memorial Day is marked with parades, services of all sorts, singing of patriotic songs and, of course, citizens reciting the Pledge of Allegiance.
Those key words– With Liberty And Justice For All–have long been taken at face value. However, in practice today, they have been amended and revised and revamped.
There is the Pompous Version. With Liberty and Justice for All: that is, the perfect, productive, and planned.
There is the Elitist Version. With Liberty and Justice for All, except for those who are “inconvenient” or “unwanted.”
There is the Materialist Version. With Liberty and Justice for All, but not for the poor, dependent, or those who existence some deem too costly to preserve and defend.
There is the Escapist Version. With Liberty and Justice for…. It all depends.
There is the Pro-Abortion Version. With Liberty and Justice for All women who have a right to control their own bodies and because a fetus is not a person and because a woman has a right to choose and because, and because, and because….
It is an anti-democratic version of the Pledge that has become one, long run-on sentence that evades the Pledge’s core meaning.
But, then, there is the Pro-Life Pledge. It comes without exceptions but with quotation marks because the words of the Pledge are not ours to change: “With Liberty and Justice for All.”
That phrase speaks of an inclusive, not an exclusive, society. It is that great and historic truth to which Pro-Lifers pledge themselves.