Yes, life itself is worth defending, but life itself is not what makes us in God's image. It is freedom, the freedom to choose, and yes, to fail that is worth fighting for. It is free will, not safety that allows humans to achieve greatness.
How would those who died in the War of 1812 react to football players not honoring the Star Spangled Banner, a song written about the flag some of them literally died to defend?
Remember our fallen warriors.
On that day, may it never come, our war dead will have given their last breath for no more a cause than a piece of land, some natural resources, or a border on a map. Memorial Day will be a much different day, a day to mourn more than the loss of American heroes, but of a free country that once existed that was worthy of their sacrifice.
Many have made the ultimate sacrifice for us to live in freedom. Do not squander it. Do not sell it cheaply. Let us strive to be worthy of their sacrifice. This is what we owe them, that and our everlasting gratitude.
When I was younger, Memorial Day was just another holiday, another day off from school or from work. It was the Indy 500 and barbeques. It's not that I wasn't patriotic-- I was, but even though I knew that people had died for my country the idea of a fallen hero was still an abstract.