By  Frederick R. Bedell Jr.,  Grand Knight of St. Anastasia Knights of Columbus Council #5911 

As we are approaching Memorial Day, many things come to mind. First of all, let’s remember all those who gave their lives to protect our nation in all the conflicts since the American Revolution, when we fought for our freedom. Let us also salute all our brave men and women who are now serving today to protect these freedoms as they serve in Afghanistan, in addition to serving in other parts of the world.

What also comes to mind is the war against terrorism, something which has changed our nation since the attack upon us on September 11th 2001. It is something that must be rooted out. But also we must find the root causes so it will not take more lives.

As Memorial Day nears, I find myself thinking what it means to be an American. The answer is the pride in being in a country that allows us our personal freedom and the ability to speak our minds. We may not have the best system, but it is still the greatest in the world. These freedoms do not come without a price. It comes with great sacrifice and devotion to duty. Like former President John F. Kennedy said, “Ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your county.” We have a great opportunity to do for others, which we can do by volunteering our time to various organizations and our local churches or temples, wherever there is a need.

We should also volunteer our time and money to the political party of our choice. All this, I believe will make America stronger. Remember, we are the people our forefathers spoke of, for America is all about us, “We the People,” and we need to get involved to truly make America better.

So go out on Memorial Day and be part of all that’s going on that day, including attending parades in our communities and cheering our service men and women and all those who serve in our communities like the EMS, Firefighters and Police Officers as well as all others in law enforcement, who protect us and also try to save lives.

I myself have served in the United States Navy during the Vietnam era, I am now Grand Knight of St. Anastasia Knights of Columbus in Douglaston, a member of St. Anastasia parish and our Lady of the Snows Holy Name Society, a member of the Queens Village Republican Club and a member of the American Legion Post #103 in Douglaston. I try to do what I can for others and hope others would do the same. Remember this also: Be all that you can be by serving your community, for you would be glad that you did. Finally, God bless you all and may God bless America.

Sincerely Yours,
Frederick R. Bedell Jr.
Glen Oaks Village,N.Y.

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