Tuesday, June 1, 2010
Great American Heroes - The American Soldier
Okay, so this is a day late as Memorial Day was yesterday. Better late than never! I thought that the first honoree in Great American Heroes should be the one that made and continues to make all the other ones possible - the American Soldier. Last Friday, my Sailors and I joined thousands of other Sailors, Officers and civilian personnel from NAS Jax in lining the streets and paying tribute to a 19 year old United States Marine from Gainesville, Florida - a Fallen Hero from the War in Afghanistan. He died from injuries sustained from an IED blast. He was the same age as my son who is a United States Sailor. This young Marine joined more than 1.2 million other U.S. Marines, Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen who have paid the ultimate price in the defense of the Country that they loved. Now there are many of his High School classmates who have never - before the day they heard the news about him - considered the high price of freedom. I hope that they know now and I hope that they think about it long and hard and understand that, although it doesn't feel so great right now, that it is a cost that someone must pay if we are to maintain our freedom and our status as the greatest nation in the world. And I hope that they all maintain a deep respect and admiration for the Soldiers, Sailors, Marines and Airmen who pull on the uniform every day and go to work in their Nation's defense - knowing full well that they have pledged their life in defense of the Constitution and the Country whose course it directs. We owe these people more than we can ever begin to repay. They are the true peacemakers and peacekeepers of the world. The very least we can do is remember them on Memorial Day - and, briefly, every night when we hit our knees to pray.