On Memorial Day, Remember Why Americans Made the Ultimate Sacrifice | Opinion

Memorial Day is Monday. It is our duty as Americans to honor and mourn the military service members who died while serving this great country.

Of course, Memorial Day is solemn. But it is also an opportunity to reflect upon, appreciate and be thankful for the freedom that we enjoy every day in the United States of America. We honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice by prospering, enjoying our liberty and preserving the American way of life.

With Memorial Day coming up, I decided to have a true patriot, Pete Hegseth, on this week's episode of my podcast, "Newt's World."

Now a co-host of "Fox & Friends Weekend" and a frequent contributor on Fox News and Fox Business, Pete served in the U.S. Army for 12 years. He did tours in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay, earning two Bronze Stars and a Combat Infantryman's Badge. We discuss Pete's time in the military, what he learned and how his remarkable experiences in uniform shaped his worldview.

Pete also has a new book out, American Crusade: Our Fight to Stay Free. In the book, Pete explores whether the election of President Donald Trump is a sign of a "national rebirth" or the "final act" of a country that has surrendered to leftists and political correctness. Can real America still win? And how?

We examine these questions and how we need to be able to fight—both on and off the battlefield—for what we have here in America. And we also need to teach the next generation, so we don't lose what makes America exceptional.

Part of this exceptionalism must include taking care of our veterans, and few people have done more than Pete toward that end. He is the former executive director of Concerned Veterans for America, which turns veterans' hopes, concerns and experiences into practical advocacy for policies that preserve freedom and prosperity.

Arlington National Cemetery
Arlington National Cemetery Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Tragically, the Department of Veterans Affairs has too often failed in recent years to provide our veterans with the care they deserve. And that care should include access to private networks if the government fails them.

Pete has also been traveling around the country, talking to Americans from all walks of life and revealing their common wisdom. In these experiences, we can see the true strength of America: its people, who are ready to do their part to save our republic. Indeed, they understand that our freedoms, laid out in principle in the Declaration of Independence and in practice in the Constitution, are sacred, unique in history and worth fighting for.

On Memorial Day, we must remember why Americans fight for our country and are willing to die for it.

I hope you will listen to this week's episode as we prepare for Memorial Day. Our fight to stay free is of paramount importance. Remembering why Americans made the ultimate sacrifice—to protect our freedom and preserve the American way of life—is critical to winning that fight.

I also hope you will listen to my next episode, scheduled to air Wednesday, on a series of harrowing earthquakes in "The Ring of Fire" that we really cannot ignore.

To read, hear, and watch more of Newt's commentary, visit Gingrich360.com.

The views expressed in this article are the writer's own.