Mr. President, if you want to honor our armed forces and pay tribute to all who have served in a meaningful way, I would invite you to come to Hillsboro this May and be our honored guest at our Memorial Day service. You would be embraced, celebrated and appreciated by a community that supported your election and stands behind you still.

You would also send a signal to the rest of the world that America’s soldiers and sailors, along with our tanks, fighter jets and weapons, are not deployed indiscriminately for gaudy exhibitions at home, but only when absolutely necessary in the defense of liberty and freedom here and abroad.

Here, we honor our armed forces with the quiet respect that reflects our understanding of the human toll our wars have exacted and the high cost that comes with freedom, rather than with saber-rattling displays of force and intimidation.