Bunker Hill. Valley Forge. Boston. Saratoga. Yorktown. We were there.
The Chesapeake Bay. Washington, DC. New Orleans. We were there.
Fort Sumter. Shiloh. Vicksburg. Antietam. Gettysburg. Appomattox. We were there.
We were there at San Juan Hill, charging up with Teddy Roosevelt.
We were there at Le Hamel, Nancy, and Cantigny.
We were there at Pearl Harbor. Midway. The Bulge. North Africa. Normandy.
Were were there in Korea and Vietnam, in Central and South America, Kuwait, Kosovo, Afghanistan and Iraq.
We have been there to support and defend our nation's liberty since the birth of our nation. Our younger brothers and sisters continue to carry on this duty today.
We are your veterans.
In times of war. In times of "peace." We were there.
In conflicts both popular and unpopular. We were there.
The blood of American servicemen and women has been shed around the world in the name of freedom and liberty.
We were there for you. We were there for America.
Our veterans have stood as the vanguard of our freedoms. Many have given their lives, their health, some their sanity, in the service of a nation they love. They come from all walks of life, from all backgrounds. Doctors, lawyers, mechanics, truck drivers, pilots, soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines.
Americans with a drive and an understanding that freedom isn't free. There is a price to be paid to live freely, and that price is that some serve to ensure those rights remain for others.
Give a moment of thanks, of gratitude, today, for those who served our nation to keep us free.
On a personal note for this piece, I have to say it's been one of the hardest I've written to date. Days like today, and Memorial Day, I can't help but think of fallen friends, both from my own time in the service, and the younger generation, those serving today, who have fallen in harms way. I think of the looks that I would get from time to time as I traveled when I was still in uniform.
I've been called a baby-killer. I'm not old enough to have even SERVED in Vietnam. But I do have my own memories that I live with. Many of us do. And we would gladly do so again so that our nation, our way of life, endures.
There are so many, many things I considered saying in this piece that I won't include. I don't want this to be a political rant.
I wanted, and want, this to merely be a thank you to my brothers and sisters who have served for their service. A thank you not only from a fellow veteran, but from an American who is grateful that there are those who have served before me, with me, and who serve us still in our nations armed forces.
God bless you all, every generation.
Once and Always, an American Fighting Man
[UPDATE] Thanks to Jay at Stop the ACLU for this link showing Veterans Day messages from the candidates and had this to say about Google finally recognizing Veterans Day, as well:
I guess after all those years of criticism, they deserve a pat on the
back for finally doing the right thing. Also, please feel free to use
this post like an open trackback to promote your own Veteran's Day
posts. Please share, thanks, Jay