Saturday, May 26, 2007

Remember those who have sacrificed their lives for you

I remember visting my father's grave in Fort Logan cemetery in Denver. It's like most any other graveyard, quiet, well kept, American flags on most of the graves, flowers on others, crosses, star's of David and other symbols of religion for the fallen and plenty of trees.

But walking around after visiting my father's grave is just so humbling. Most, if not all of the graves belong to fallen veterans who died in battle or died serving their country. To read the inscriptions of their history, however brief, reminded me of the sacrifice of our fine military men and women.

I hold no greater respect than for our military. It is the 1% of the 100 that volunteer to go into harm's way to protect our freedom and to serve our country.

The military does not just kill people and break things, they do a lot of other good things for our country, from bring poor children toys, food, clothing and companionship at christmas, to rescuing people in dangerous situations, whether floods, hurricanes and earthquakes, to helping out retired vets who need help. All the time putting their lives at risk to do so, much like our police and firefighters.

Our military have always been the one to say "leave no one behind". They will not leave someone behind if they can and have a fine tradition of rescuing their own when captured. They will work for little pay, bad hours, not-so-good-food to do what is required of them. They live in cold, hot, humid, cramped and dusty conditions to do what they do.

I have a shirt that I wear that says, "Thank a Vet".

It is not the writers or politican's who pontificate about the right or wrongs of a war that keeps us free, it's the soldier.

It's not the teacher who teachs children about the great history of our country that keeps us free, it's the airman,

it's not the businessman who makes money that provides us with such a comfortable lifestyle, it's the marine,

it's not the ballplayer that dazzles crowds that keeps us free, it's the sailor and it's not the protestor that shouts and screams about all the injustices of our government that makes us free, it's the coast guardsman.

It's those men and women who stand guard everyday, doing their duty, enduring the bad with the good, willing to sacrifice their lives if they have to, that keeps all the people mentioned above safe to do the wonderful things they do.

We are by nature, a peaceful nation. We have given more to the rest of the world in so many areas and yet we are hated by more nations. We have liberated millions of people to help them to live their lives, hopefully, in peace and with self determination.

Whatever you say or think about President Bush, you cannot say that he hasn't helped free 50 million people in 2 countries from the grip of oppressive regimes. But this is not about the president.

This is about the brave men and women who are serving to protect us and protect our freedom. I hope that everyone enjoys their holiday weekend and the start of summer, but I also hope that you take the time out to remember the men and women of our United States Armed Forces and in some small way, take the time to thank them and their families for the sacrifice they make in our name.

A little can mean so much. As Churchill said, "Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few."