This site salutes all veterans for all wars who took up the charge to protect freedom.  Their sacrifice for freedom is the greatest sacrifice in perserving our liberties. May we never forget them.

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Freedom is not free. It is paid with every drop of blood, sweat, and tears of our men and women who serve or has served in the armed forces.

Heroes Among Us

By: Mike Morley

It was so touching to watch the news a few months ago, to see 132 World War II veterans and hear their remarks following their return from Hero Flight. Their destination, the WWII Memorial in Washington DC, is a favorite of mine. At night, with lights illuminating the granite columns and gold stars, the rush of the fountains and the hushed tones in which everyone converses without even realizing, the monument takes on a reverence which is unique and unmistakable. It is a tribute befitting the heroes who fought in that war, those who returned and those who did not.

As I watched the men of this greatest generation, all in their 80's and 90's, file down the stairs from the plane, some were spry and active belying their advanced years. Most walked slowly and carefully, aided by canes and companions. Yet, in each pair of eyes shown a pride that can come only from great accomplishment preceded by great sacrifice. Their white hair and hunched frames bear little resemblance now to the once young and active soldiers, sailors, and airmen who, over 60 years ago, fought the greatest fight the world has ever known and won liberty for countries all over the globe and for generations yet unborn. Heroics were the order of the day back then. Even now, you rarely hear one of them speak of their achievements. It’s hard to know if they’re too humble or if they just don’t realize how truly remarkable and important and significant their efforts were.

No less heroic are the veterans of the hundreds of engagements in a dozen or more fields of battle since then – Korea, Vietnam, Sierra Leone, Afghanistan, Iraq. They all have important traits in common, traits shared by their predecessors from Belleau Woods, Gettysburg, and Yorktown. What drives a man to be willing to sacrifice to that extent, to endure pain and deprivation, to leave homes and families and loved ones to face death in battle? In one word – liberty.

Liberty, as a concept, is sometimes hard to quantify. Thomas Jefferson said, “I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than those attending too small a degree of it.” From Samuel Adams comes the charge, “The liberties of our country, the freedom of our civil Constitution, are worth defending at all hazards”.

In truth, liberty is easier to understand as it is evident in our everyday lives. Liberty is choosing our form and place of worship, or none at all. Liberty means education and safety for our children. Liberty means the right, even the obligation to debate issues of great and of little importance without fear of reprisal. Liberty is summer evenings at the baseball field, parades, Memorial Day and Independence Day, flags rippling in the breeze, fireworks and the national anthem. Liberty is the essence of America and so much a part of our makeup that it is as the water we drink and the air we breathe. We have enjoyed it for over 200 years and believe it will always be ours.

So, to the heroes we say thank you. It’s not enough. It will never be enough, but we say thank you anyway.

About the Author
Find out more about Utah Representative Mike Morley at his web site.
(ArticlesBase SC #393139)
Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/ - Heroes Among Us
Read more: http://www.articlesbase.com/philosophy-articles/heroes-among-us-393139.html#ixzz0m2WonEY7 Under Creative Commons License: Attribution

Sacrifice for free is not duty but an honor.

 

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