Published 12:50 pm Wednesday, November 12, 2003
Freedom isn't free
Every day in America, we are all able to get up, get out of bed, and go about our daily routine. In that routine we are relatively sure of several things.
We can count on a stable environment around us, that is, one without civil upheaval. It is unlikely that there will be a coup or other terrifying, violent change in our government.
We are safe in believing that we are safe, at least for the most part. We are safe in believing that the police and the military are here to help us remain safe, to protect us from those who would do us harm. They are not the enemy, they are not going to come in the night and take away members of our family who has said or done something that is in political disfavor.
We can be assured of a safe and ample food supply. No one will likely be shot or beaten to death fighting for a bag of cornmeal dropped from an airplane. We can go to the market and choose what we want.
We can move from state to state or region to region in the nation without having papers to leave or go home. We can work without belonging to this or that political faction.
There is one reason we can do these things.
These men and women have served the nation and delivered its most basic needs.
In wartime, they have gone to other places and fought those who would gladly have seen our republic end. They have waded through snow and swamps to make sure we can have dinner on the grounds, that Thanksgiving is still a holiday.
They have fought and died to keep us the land of the free.
But it isn't just for what they do in war that makes us honor our veterans.
It is because of them that we are the super power we are today. We aren't what we are because of more money poured into weapons and more or better gadgets.
We are what we are because of our veterans, and those who are serving now.
Every other nation is afraid of us because of our service men and women. They know these people will fight to protect our way of life, that it is a good and true way to live that is worth more to any of us than our own lives. They know that if it came down to it, our armed forces would fight tanks from horse back, shoot until they are out of bullets, use the empty weapon as a club, and then use rocks to protect this idea, this America that we all love so.
And so it is on Veteran's Day that we honor all military personnel, enlisted and officer, foreign or domestic, war or peace.
It is the job they do that keeps the United States the land of the free. They prove every day that we are the home of the brave.
God bless America.