“Never was so much owed by so many to so few,” Winston Churchill.
Although Churchill spoke these words in the 1940’s regarding World War II, his words still ring true today. Local veterans were honored last week at ceremonies throughout the community, restaurants gave them free meals and students saluted them. But what do we do on a daily basis to remember those who have risked their lives for not only their fellow Americans but for those around the world?
In our short history as a country, our freedoms have been threatened by not only Islamic extremists in Iraq and Afghanistan, but also by Hitler’s Nazis and communist totalitarianism in Asia and even Russia. This does not include those who fought to protect our basic rights to freedom in the Revolutionary and Civil wars and all wars in between.
Throughout our history, the men and women who serve in the Armed Forces, have consistently put the freedom of others above their own lives. And why do they do it?
Because they believe in the words of President John F. Kennedy in his inaugural speech, “pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty.” These are words they believe to their core, the least we can do is remember them and thank them once a year. My generation didn’t really understand the effects of war while growing up. Grandfathers had fought in World War II and some of us lost uncles in Vietnam, but all of this happened before we were born.
Life back then, did not include daily news coverage of war, death and post-traumatic stress disorder. And unfortunately, many of us did not realize the effects of war.
All of this changed with the Gulf War. For most of us, this was the first time we saw missiles being shot off and gun fight ensue, albeit over the television. But it was Sept. 11, 2001 that most Americans today will remember as the day everything changed.
Now our military is in a constant battle and our service men and women are putting their lives on the line each and every day, some of them have even lost their lives here at home as in the case of Fort Hood. Let’s not just remember our veterans one day out of the year. Let’s remember those who are serving right now and let us not forget those who have served our country since its inception. At the very least, we owe them that.