RANDOLPH, NJ- On this and every Memorial Day, we as a nation pause to remember those who have served our country, especially those who sacrificed their lives in doing so.  To understand some of the motivation behind the sacrifices made by our military men and women, we turn to the message delivered in a speech by Ronald Reagan at his first inaugural address.

President Reagan tells the story of Private Martin Treptow, a barber who enlisted with the Iowa National Guard and became a part of the 168th Infantry of the 42nd Division (the famous Rainbow Division) during World War I. Treptow was killed in France during the war, while delivering a message between battalions. Martin’s diary was found on his body and on the flyleaf under the heading, “My Pledge”, he wrote these words:

“America must win this war. Therefore, I will work, I will save, I will sacrifice, I will endure; I will fight cheerfully and do my utmost, as if the issue of the whole struggle depended on me alone.”

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Take a brief moment today to reflect and remember, and give thanks for all the great American heroes who gave their lives so that we may have the freedoms of and liberties we so often take for granted.

A three minute clip of Reagans moving and motivational speech, serving as a reminder what a president should sound like, can be seen here: