May 27, 2020

Facing Enemies and Honoring the Fallen – A Special Memorial Day Tribute [Ep. 20]

Facing Enemies and Honoring the Fallen – A Special Memorial Day Tribute [Ep. 20]

In this episode, recorded on Memorial Day 2020, Linda honors the fallen and pays tribute to those who have given the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom.  While this holiday will be remembered as the one without parades or large public gatherings due to the unprecedented pandemic caused by the invisible enemy of the coronavirus, we can – and should – still pause to honor those who gave their lives in service to our nation. We can honor them best by bravely facing the enemies of freedom and leaving a legacy of liberty for future generations. 

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Linda: Welcome and thank you for joining us for this episode of the Prosperity 101 - Breakroom Economics podcast. My name is Linda J. Hansen, the creator of the Prosperity 101 - Breakroom Economics program. We seek to connect boardroom to breakroom by empowering and encouraging employers to educate employees about the public policy issues that affect their jobs. We believe this will lead to greater employee loyalty, engagement, and retention and to an increased awareness of the blessings and responsibilities of living in a free society. Join us each week to hear from our exciting guests and visit us at

Linda: Thank you again for tuning in today. This episode is a little different in format and content than usual. It's a special episode dedicated to those who could not be with me to record in person, but whose stories must be told if we desire to preserve freedom and prosperity for ourselves and future generations. 

I'm recording this on Memorial Day 2020. It is the day we pause to remember those who have given the ultimate sacrifice, their lives for the cause of freedom. I am often moved to tears as each year I observed the wreath-laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery. I am moved to tears as I hear the 21-gun salutes at Arlington, and at the funerals of our faithful patriots, young and old, in small towns across America.

I weep when I hear Taps play, and I thank God for the men and women of all backgrounds, colors, and creeds who have served our nation so faithfully, allowing us the freedoms that have made the United States of America the beacon of freedom for the world.

I'm not a historian, but even a brief study of our American history will inspire us with the stories of those who have gone before us and have paved the way to liberty. Not just for us, but for millions of people around the globe.

On this Memorial Day, the one without parades, the one without large public ceremonies, I want to give back in some small way and honor those who have sacrificed for my freedoms. I have never taken lightly the freedoms we have in our country. Our Constitution has provided an amazing framework for governing and it has stood the test of time over centuries. We must protect it, defend it, and promote it. It is the document that sets us apart from all the other countries in the world. And it is the pathway to freedom and prosperity for our country and for our citizens.

I would like to pause to remember members of my own family who lost their lives in service to our nation. My father had two brothers who gave their lives in World War II. Their deaths changed my father's family forever. Grief follows death, and if allowed, it can become deadly in its own way when survivors cease to live a life after loss. The pain of grief caused additional heartbreak in that family like it has in so many others, we would be remiss to not acknowledge the sacrifices of family members who have lost loved ones on our behalf. They all have a story to tell and we would be wise to listen and learn from them. Regardless of which war or conflict took the life of our loved ones, grief is a universal emotion and it transcends political parties or geographical boundaries.

I am sure my family tree is not the only one with stories of pain and sadness. While we honor and remember the lives of the fallen, let's also pause to honor and pay respect to the loved ones and the hopes and dreams that also died. The loved ones who were left behind faced a different kind of death. And we need to acknowledge and honor them too. Parents, spouses, children, all have had to adjust their lives in the shadow of grief.

As I've spoken to survivors of wars and conflicts from World War II to our present times, I'm constantly amazed at the humble and selfless bravery that has been exhibited by our heroes. I have heard it echoed again and again. They stepped into danger, they put fear aside, and they fought for the sake of freedom.

I have been inspired by my loved ones as they have shared their stories of how they helped during times of war and conflict. From the relatives who fought on the frontlines to those who patriotically did what they could on the home front, each story taught me to reach for the higher good, to live unselfishly, and to be unafraid to stand up for all that is good, right, and noble.

My aunt was a nurse volunteering on the frontlines in World War II and to say she was brave is an understatement. She once rose to the occasion and turned what could have been a horrible tragedy into a victory by singlehandedly capturing several German soldiers and turning them over to our armed forces as prisoners of war.

She also discovered a truckload of bodies, individuals who had been exterminated in the Holocaust, an event which she rarely spoke about, but one which undoubtedly changed her life forever.

My mother talks of rolling bandages, of Victory Gardens, of citywide blackouts, of letters arriving with words cut out as all communication was monitored, and to waiting months for a letter or phone call from relatives serving in faraway lands.  My father, who wanted to serve but could not due to health reasons, spoke of the war effort often. He fixed vehicles, gathered rubber for military tires, and helped with supply chain efforts. Everyone on the home front did all they could to support our nation. It was an all for one, one for all sense of unity.

My son is a marine. Today, he is honoring the lives of his marine brothers who were lost while they served together in Iraq. The bond he shares with his fellow marines and the honor and respect they continue to show for their fallen comrades and their surviving families inspires me and reminds me of the common bonds we share as Americans.

We are at a turning point in our nation. We are currently facing threats on many sides, corrupt foreign regimes that seek to deceive, control, and overpower America and an unseen enemy, the Coronavirus. We also face what I believe to be even bigger threats, the enemies named division and fear.

As in the past, we have choices to make. A house divided cannot stand. United we stand, divided we fall. We must now more than ever before decide to come together to protect and defend the principles that made this nation great.

The rights we cherish and that are guaranteed to us in our Constitution did not expire when the pandemic hit. While we must, of course, protect the vulnerable and care for the ill, we must not allow this or any other crisis to lure us into thinking that we will be safer by relinquishing our Bill of Rights or other protections afforded to us by our founding documents. Our rights do not end where fear begins.

Freedom is not free. American patriots have given the ultimate sacrifice. Now, we must do our part to honor them by putting aside fear and division, and come together to defend the rights they so bravely protected. We must leave a legacy of liberty for the next generation and we must educate them on how to protect their freedoms when they face similar challenges. If we do not, who will?

Thank you again for joining us for this episode of the Prosperity 101 - Breakroom Economics podcast. My name is Linda J. Hansen, your host and the founder and president of Prosperity 101 LLC. 


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