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Our View: Sacrifice for the greater good continues

"I pray that our Heavenly Father may assuage the anguish of your bereavement and leave you only the cherished memory of the loved and lost, and the solemn pride that must be yours to have laid so costly a sacrifice upon the altar of freedom."

Abraham Lincoln in a letter to

Mrs. Bixby of Boston, who lost

five sons killed in battle. Nov. 21, 1864.

We are just days away from the Memorial Day holiday.

On Monday, each of us should take a moment to think about those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice, by giving their lives in the fight for freedom around the world, or by thanking a veteran for his or her service to our country.

Such an expression of thankfulness is important as ongoing world conflict continues to challenge us Americans.

Sacrifice isn't a verb that we Americans have to regularly deal with in our lives.

To voluntarily give up something in order to achieve something greater goes against our selfish natures.

That's what makes Memorial Day so important. Unless we each make a conscious effort to pause and reflect on those who put their lives on hold for the sake of the greater good, we often take for granted the true price that's been paid.

Whether it's Mrs. Bixby in 1864 or a soldier's family from New Richmond in 2008, the call to sacrifice continues to be answered by those who see the prospect of a better tomorrow for all.

For that we should all be thankful and proud.