As you know, tomorrow we celebrate Memorial Day. (And I will proudly fly our Great Country’s flag again tomorrow!) This was originally known as “Decoration Day” in the years following the Civil War, and in part was organized by recently-freed African Americans. Then it was re-named as Memorial Day after World War II, which became officially recognized as a federal holiday in 1971. The stated purpose of the Day is to recognize and honor all of the men and women who have died while serving in our country’s military. Truly a noble purpose that we all should share.

So I propose two ways in which we can honor those who have fallen, which are as follows:

First, as voters, taxpayers and people who care, we can/must insist that our country not put our fighting troops into combat unless Congress has issued a Declaration of War. (But we would maintain the ability of the President to engage our fighting troops for a maximum of 60 days during an emergency.) But a Declaration has not been issued by Congress since Pearl Harbor was attacked in December of 1941. Instead, Congress has purportedly delegated that power to whoever happens to be President at the time. And, just since the year 2003, our Presidents have sent our troops to fight wars in places like Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, Northwest Pakistan, Libya, Somalia, Northeast Kenya, Uganda, Niger and Syria. Were these all in our country’s national interest? Even if so, were our troops withdrawn after that national interest had been served. Those are the practical issues. But also please understand that these actions by Presidents violate Article I, Section 8 of our Constitution, which provides that it is Congress that has the power to declare war, not the President. That was a brilliant requirement, because if Congress is forced to take responsibility for our entering a war, then Congress will more fully and publicly debate the issues. And then it will likely set our goals in the conflict such that we will likely withdraw our troops when they are attained. All to the good both for us and the world!

Second, we must command that the Veteran’s Administration actively assist ALL of our veterans who still suffer from combat-related injuries, including Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and fund it accordingly. For example, it is simply a blight upon who we are as a country to have Veterans be homeless while suffering from service-related injuries – and we all know that many of our homeless people are Veterans in that condition. Let’s all join forces and put that situation to an end!

So with those thoughts in mind, I wish us all a Meaningful Memorial Day!

Factoid of the Week(?): Did you know that in Hawaii it is not permitted to laugh out loud? All that is permitted is A Low Ha . . .

Judge Jim Gray (Ret.) Superior Court of Orange County, California 2012 Libertarian Candidate for Vice President

Please listen to our radio show entitled All Rise! The Libertarian Way with Judge Jim Gray as we discuss timely ssues and show how they will be addressed more beneficially by employing Libertarian values and approaches. The series has concluded, but you can still hear any edition On Demand at https://www.voiceamerica.com/show/3883. And, by the way, these 2 Paragraphs columns are now on my website at www.JudgeJImGray.com, Facebook and LinkedIn at judgejimgray, Twitter at judgejamesgray, and wordpress at judgejimgray.wordpress.com. Please visit these sites for past editions, and do your part to spread the word about the importance of Liberty. In addition, my new book with the same title as my radio show is now available at Amazon.com., as is my wife Grace’s and my new novel centered about School Choice entitled 2030 KIDS: We are the Rising Heroes of the Planet. Please read and discuss them with your friends, and send in a review.