This Memorial Day I urge you to do more than enjoy a picnic, a barbecue, or a day at the beach or the lake. Thank God for your freedom and for the men and women in uniform who provided it. I have a good friend, Martha Cothren, a social studies teacher at Joe T. Robinson High School, in Little Rock. Her father was a WWII POW, and she is a true patriot. On the first day of school in 2005, Martha wanted to give her students a lesson on freedom they wouldn’t forget. With the permission of her principal, she removed the desks from her classroom. When the students came for first period and asked where their desks were, Martha told them they would get a desk when they could tell her how to earn one. Students suggested good grades, or good behavior, but Martha told them while those were important, it wouldn’t earn them a desk. As each period came and went, students were stumped as to how to earn a desk and word spread across campus about the teacher who had lost her mind and taken the desks out. Students called their parents, some called the media and local television crews showed up to find out what was going on. At the last period of the school day, when no student had correctly answered how to earn a desk, Martha Cothren went to the classroom door and opened it, and welcomed a parade of veterans who walked in carrying school desks. As they brought in the desks and lined them in rows, Martha told them, “Kids, you don’t have to earn your desks; these guys already did.” I salute great teachers and patriots across our land who honor our veterans. And most of all, I salute our veterans, who earned me more than a school desk. They earned me my freedom. To them, I say thanks. And God bless you!