BOSTON (CBS) — Please make a note of the fact that at three o’clock this afternoon, all of us are urged to observe the traditional National Moment of Remembrance of our fallen servicemen and women.

Amtrak trains will sound their horns at that hour. Many of us will observe a moment of silence, including fans at major league baseball games.

As the president put it in his official proclamation the other day, “We remember the fallen, we pray for a lasting peace among nations, and we honor these guardians of our inalienable rights.”

And maybe we can also do so by reflecting on what it is they were guarding.

The president’s statement notes that this is the centennial of our country’s entrance into World War I, where we lost more than 100,000 of our own in the cause of “helping to restore peace in Europe.”

Then, and again in the 1940s, we made it our business to stop the encroachment of an aggressive foreign power and stand up for our natural European allies.

Not all of our wars have been deemed righteous by the American people, and after 16 years of perpetual post-9/11 war, there’s a bi-partisan push on in the Senate to re-establish Congressional approval of our military offensives, which speaks to another cause we fight and die for, our democratic process and the right of the people to be heard.

“Freedom is never free,” the president notes, and focusing on the lives lost today underscores that point.

It’s also a challenge to the living to work at keeping us free, so the sacrifices of the dead aren’t squandered.

Maybe three o’clock today is a good time to get a conversation started about all this, with others, or just within yourself.

  1. We in this home give thanks to all of the service men and women who have given their lives in our defense and support their families in a forever-inadequate appreciation for their loss.

    We in this home give thanks and support the men and women who are serving the interests of our nation through their commitment to our military and communal security both here in this country and around the world.

    I remind our critical allies that it has been the strength of the United States’ commitment to peace and mutual security that has assured their prosperity and security.

    And, I call on all that live within the scope of the mutual security treaties that support the ends of mutual protection that their treaty obligations are as sacrosanct as those that apply to us.

    And, if those critics wish to go it alone, they should not be the first to knock on our door when their efforts are found to be lacking as they were twice in the 20th century at staggering human and societal costs.

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