Memorial Day: A time to remember

May 27, 2019 |

(The following is a transcript of my monologue from Saturday’s “Huckabee” on TBN.  It includes a message to many men and women who are incredibly important to all of us, and a personal message to the most important person in my own life.)


While many Americans will be enjoying a long weekend of picnics, barbecues, beaches, pools and lakes and music festivals, let’s not forget that Memorial Day weekend is really not just a time to kick off the summer and indulge ourselves in food and frolic.  It’s a time to remember those who gave the ultimate sacrifice of their lives to provide for us the unprecedented freedom that we so often take for granted as Americans. 


No people in the history of the world have experienced the liberties and opportunities or prosperity that we have enjoyed as citizens of the greatest country on God’s green earth — the United States of America.  I don’t say that just as a biased American, but as one who can scour the pages of human history and say definitively that no nation has ever given its inhabitants the degree of freedom, security, and pursuit of happiness as has this extraordinary experiment in government called the United States. 

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Our Constitution is a simple, yet profound, blueprint for a government in which the ultimate power rests with the people and not with a king, a tyrant dictator, a military general, or even an elected official.  The genius of our nation is that the people have been vested with the highest power, and while we temporarily grant it to those we elect, we don’t give it away.  This great system of self-government with its separation of powers, balance of powers, and accountability to its people has been and continues to be protected against both foreign and domestic threats by those who trade their clothes of choice for a uniform and who trade their personal liberties to accept orders from someone who outranks them. 


And in the process of providing that protection, hundreds of thousands of those in our military have willingly given their lives for those of us who will enjoy this long weekend.  No American should take this for granted nor ignore it.  It shouldn’t be left only to the Gold Star families alone to take a pause for a somber reminder of the price of our benefits of citizenship.  We all owe it to them to show respect in some way for those whose death gives us our lives. 



For me personally, this weekend marks another occasion worth mentioning.  May 25th marks 45 years of marriage to my wife Janet, mother of our three children, Ya-ya to our six grandchildren, and a pretty amazing woman who has endured virtual poverty with me in our early days, and battled cancer in her spine 44 years ago that doctors predicted would take her life.  When she fought and won that battle, she was told the surgery and radiation would render her unable to have children.  While she lost one, she gave birth to three. 

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She dropped out of college to work as a dental assistant to help me finish, then went with me on the 45-year journey of a career in broadcasting and advertising, almost twelve years as a pastor, and then the past few decades in the tumultuous and vicious world of politics and government.  She has endured some of the most vile and hate-filled criticism, not just directed at her husband but at her and even her children.  She chose to be a stay-at-home mom when our kids were small, which meant less money but more memories, and when her beloved mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease, she walked that road with her mother until the end. 


Forty-five years is a long time to put up with me, so for that she’s a saint.  And I’m proud to have shared life and love with her.  One of her favorite songs is Kenny Rogers’ classic, “Through the Years.”  And now that there have been 45 of them, she’s entitled to say she has endured “Through the Years.”  Happy Anniversary, Janet—I love you!  And I hope we have a few more.


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Comments 1-25 of 43

  • Jack macdonald

    05/29/2019 07:09 PM

    Reference Robert Ness Mueller's press conference. Where is Elliott Ness when we need him? For those too young to remember, Ness fought to bring the Mafia to justice and was nicknamed "the untouchable" . There was a TV series devoted to his story called the "untouchables". Robert Mueller and James Comey bear no resemblance to Ness.

  • Robert E Center

    05/28/2019 10:28 PM

    Mike, Thank You for Your remembrance of Memorial Day. As a Vietnam Veteran, I see the apathy that many people seem to have, about the cost of freedom. Just as it cost Jesus everything to purchase our salvation and freedom. It has cost much for our people to remain free over the last 200+ years. All I can say is, Thank You LORD, for Your Sacrifice. And a Hand Salute To Our Countries Honored Dead !!

    Sgt. Robert E Center USAF, Tan Son Nhut AB. Vietnam 1967 - 1968.

  • Jack macdonald

    05/28/2019 10:24 PM

    Sean Hannity mentioned Nancy Pelosi's determination that the borders remain wide open. I think she should change her name to Nancy Merckel. She uses the tired old "bleeding heart" line that all illegals are just a bunch of desperate, endangered families seeking a better life. She ignores the drugs, disease, criminal element, well fare sponges, unknowns from country's that are not our friends, and low wage people who harm the economy. She persistently puts non Americans needs ahead of our own citizens. She is more detrimental to this country than some of our external enemies and she does this while being paid by taxpayers.

  • Yolanda Y. Ortiz

    05/28/2019 10:55 AM

    Happy Anniversary and May the Lord Jesus Christ, continue to bless your marriage and your entire family as well.

    Yolie Y. Ortiz

  • Carol

    05/28/2019 06:51 AM

    Thank you for sharing your journey with us. God bless you and your wife, Janet. You and Janet are a city set on a hill, letting the light of the Lord Jesus shine through. May you continue to be the salt of the earth as well.

  • Michel DiLeo

    05/28/2019 03:07 AM

    Congratulations to you, and your wife, Janet celebrating 45 years of marriage. It is a wonderful accomplishment, which only happens when two people really commit themselves to each other, through the good, and bad times, sickness, and health, and all the rest. It only works if you put your spouse first, and try to make them happy. In a marriage, it's about the other person, not yourself. I believe your reward comes, in experiencing the happiness, and joy of your spouse. My wife, and I also celebrated our 45 anniversary this year, on April 20th. It was very special. My wife is a breast cancer survivor, who through the grace of God, is doing very well. We are truly thankful!

  • Kathy Wingate

    05/28/2019 12:07 AM

    Happy, Happy Anniversary!! And I congratulate you both for that accomplishment!!
    On another note, on Facebook tonight, there was an announcement that "so help me, God" has been removed from oaths of political officials. Please tell me this is not true. Is this to accommodate Muslims, since they hope to take over? Please tell me this has not happened.
    PS: if anyone missed the PBS Memorial Day Concert, see if you can stream it. I haven't missed it in 10 yrs, am always weeping within minutes, it is so moving. Try to see it.

  • Lynne Wilford

    05/28/2019 12:00 AM

    Happy anniversary to you both!! May God continue to bless you, your marriage, and family and use you all mightily as He has been doing. You are a blessing to so many people. Thank you. And enjoy your special day! Your tribute to your wife was beautiful.

  • Edward Ernest Engle

    05/27/2019 11:26 PM

    Congratulations to you and your wife on 45 years of marriage. My wife and I have been married for 45 years also. We have three children and five grandchildren.

    I thank you for your commentaries. You are a blessing of fresh air in a time filled with all the hyped and hateful messages seen, heard and read day after day on our TV, radio, newspapers and social media.

    My wife and I live in California. We are conservative fish in a liberal sea. We really feel that our votes never count, (although we continue to vote in all elections). Even our kids won't talk to us about politics. It's as if they go running, screaming from the room at the mention of anything political.

    My heart breaks that I can't get through to them. They have been totally indoctrinated throughout their school years and now by the abovementioned media. They refuse to see what kind of country they will face if they, along with their generation, continue down the path they have created. I'm convinced that we are the last generation that see what's really going on, and when we die off, (which won't be too long; I'm 76), the United States of America as we know it will be gone forever.

    I read a great book back in the late 1900s, "Set Up & Sold Out", (with the sub-title of "Find Out What Green Really Means") by Holly Swanson written in 1995. She lays out the left's blueprint for the upcoming millennium; not only telling us what will happen, but how and why. She says that the left will chip away at our freedoms, piece by piece, and then finally perform a great grab. I'm convinced that that grab was planned to happen via the 2016 election of Hillary Clinton, but was thankfully temporarily held off by the election of Donald Trump.

    I have believed for years that when Nikita Khrushchev spoke before the United Nations in 1960 and made the statement, "We will bury you". he never meant that the Soviet Union would destroy the U.S. by war, but that when you (us) are buried, the people burying you (your children and grandchildren) will believe as we believe, (i.e., in communism.

    If you haven't read this book, I'd recommend it and would appreciate your take on it.


  • LynnEllen Lang

    05/27/2019 10:45 PM

    Happy Anniversary! Thank you for all you do. I enjoy and learn from your daily commentary.

  • Verneta Stebbins

    05/27/2019 10:41 PM

    What a wonderful article! I enjoyed it, all of it! And Happy Anniversary!!

  • Clifford Totten

    05/27/2019 08:53 PM

    It seems that you & Yours have a similar love as my wife and I. Together for 59 Year and counting. This! through an entire Military Career.
    As that which she lived through (was no easy task). I presented Her with a poem I wrote for Her, to show my appreciation. I thought you may like it and attached a copy for you to use as you would like! ............Cliff Totten

    A Warrior's Wife

    She who has endured so much,
    strength, Love and wisdom, given by her touch.
    Mother, Wife and Friend,
    when broken, always there to mend.
    Never to intimidate or hurt,
    never to wonder, flirt.
    A teacher to all she meets,
    a lasting love, knowing of no retreat.
    In time of loneliness and grief,
    strength to be, when eyes weep.
    An angel on this earth,
    did of my children, give birth.
    Purer of heart none can be,
    she who always stands by me.
    Sorry for her pain I have caused,
    but to forgive myself, for she already does.
    If I could, a new life make,
    pray I give to her more love than I may take.
    With smile and grace in she,
    fill my heart with memories.
    No better woman I could find,
    to fulfill this life of mine.
    When once I knew not of such,
    blind to faith and it's touch.
    A gift from God, all to see,
    she who is my destiny.
    I pray together we will always be,
    and I thank God for her time with me.
    When our day in passing comes, and our task on Earth is done,
    God show her the love and forgiveness she has shown to me.
    Until then, not free, my mind to be.
    God, reward her for her faith, dedication and loyalty,
    for no other way should there be.

    Cliff Totten - 1998

  • Michael Gene Langley

    05/27/2019 08:04 PM

    I have heard similar things that were told to patients, for decades. The first was as a second year medical student. I assisted in a hysterectomy on a lady with a double uterus. She was told that she would never have kids. She had three prior children, to her hysterectomy! Never forget! Most doctors are not as smart as we think we are. And, those of us with an advanced degree, are treated like pariahs. They don't want to believe that none of us knows it all. But, some of is do know more than others, by virtue of more education and training! But, nowadays, medical politics trumps science.

  • janice H bounds

    05/27/2019 05:53 PM

    Thanks for a sweet moving story. My late husband & I always supported you since your first entry into politics. If you were running, you had our vote. It is uplifting to know Janet & your love story.

  • janice H bounds

    05/27/2019 05:52 PM

    Thanks for a sweet moving story. My late husband & I always supported you since your first entry into politics. If you were running, you had our vote. It is uplifting to know Janet & your love story.

  • Scott Young

    05/27/2019 03:56 PM

    God bless you and your family.
    I have always enjoyed your commentaries over the years both in print and in video.
    I hope everyone today takes time to remember the men who fought for our ideals of freedom and liberty.
    God blesses those who walk in his path and has made this the greatest nation to ever exist on this earth.
    Thank you for your great insight and positive outlook.
    I hope you celebrate many,many years with your family.

  • Velma Ardis Marshall

    05/27/2019 03:25 PM

    Happy Anniversary! May God bless you both as you live for Him.
    My husband was called to his heavenly home in March. We were married 3 weeks less than 63 years. I am thankful that we're had the Lord in our lives. I don't know how people can live without the Lord's presence and guidance!

  • Dana Russell

    05/27/2019 03:10 PM

    Thanks for your insightful commentary on the news. Enjoy reading your columns.

  • Marilyn bray

    05/27/2019 03:03 PM

    I admire you and your family.

  • Iris E Trampe

    05/27/2019 02:35 PM

    Happy Anniversary to you and Janet. May God bless you with many more.

  • Harold Dover

    05/27/2019 02:19 PM

    Congratulations on 45 years of being married together! Janet is truly a very outstanding person. She gets right down where people are to meet their needs and concerns. She gives tirelessly of herself. She has been very supportive of you and the family. You both are a great couple and have used your God given gifts and talents to reach out to the rest of us. I know, I have had the wondrous experience of seeing all I have said for real. May God bless you on this your special day and in the years ahead.

  • Edith Parks

    05/27/2019 02:08 PM

    What a beautiful tribute to our military and to your sweet wife Janet. Happy anniversary and blessings for many more

  • Anne Hill

    05/27/2019 02:02 PM

    Many good wishes to you and your wife on your anniversary. I also wish to thank you for your stand against the Liberal members of Congress who are so outspoken about President Trump and all the good work he is doing in support of our country.What has changed our country in such a radical way in the past 25-30 years? I have never in all my 85 years of life seen such disrespect and actual hate for our duly elected President.Instead of investigating Donald Trump's every move,even those made before he was elected,how about investigating the source of all these complaints.I bet you will be able to trace them back to the Clinton and Obama organizations.Speaking about Obama,how is the fact that he entered the a foreign student and received his education as one, never been mentioned in all the information about him not being an American citizen..This information was published in all the nation newspapers when he ran for the Senate.Is this another part of the Clinton,Obama Coverup?

  • Gene Steely

    05/27/2019 12:57 PM

    Congratulations on your 45 years of marriage. It is such a blessing in this day and age. I am a very proud supporter of our military, I pray for those and the families of those who gave all and didn’t get to come home. My Grandson was in the Old Guard and walked the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Such Love and Respect for those young men!!!! Thank you for all your work and Sarah’s too in our politics of today! Keep up the Good Work!

  • Patricia Dugan

    05/27/2019 12:45 PM

    You and your wife are such an inspiration. May God continue to bless your marriage and your family and may he continue to guide you as you educate and enlighten us with the facts and a reasonable, sensible understanding of our daily experiences.