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Saluting Our Soldiers on Veteran’s Day Or Paying Tribute to Our Veterans

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  Saluting Our Soldiers on Veteran’s Day Or Paying Tribute to Our Veterans

This Friday, we commemorate Veteran’s Day in honor of our brave men and women who fought for our freedom. 

Many of them gave the ultimate sacrifice.

Many anti-military activists assert that our men and women in uniform love war. They don’t love war – they hate war. They just love the freedom we have more than they hate war. They risked their lives that we might be here today and enjoy that freedom. I get cold chills every time I hear Taps played for our fallen soldiers and I remember my cousin who was shot out of a helicopter in Vietnam. 

He gave his life for the country he loved. My dad gave four years, four months and 13 days of his life to serve during World War II. Almost all the male members of my family were in the service at one time or another. Their service taught us early in life that our priorities should be God, family and country – in that order. I was never called up for duty, but my draft status was 1-A during the Vietnam War. I only hope, if I had been called, I might have served as gallantly as those in uniform in our Veteran’s Day parade this year or those that have gone on before us that we pay homage to on Memorial Day.

There is nothing we can do at any event that can adequately express our gratitude for the men and women who gave their lives for our liberty. 

There is no government program, no amount of money, no statues or no memorials that can show our appreciation for those who have been wounded or have given their life for our country, so that we may enjoy the freedom we have today.

We must make sure that we show our appreciation to them while they serve, take care of their families and take care of any needs they have when they return. In the Bible, John 15:13 tells us “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” Soldiers on the battlefront do this for us daily.

We cannot repay the commitment to those who gave the ultimate sacrifice, but we can pray that God will protect those that are still in the field, risking their lives daily, so that we may live in peace.

A few years ago at a restaurant in South Carolina, I picked up a card from a container on the table that contained the following lyrics (author unknown) and was titled: It is the soldier.

It is the soldier, not the reporter, who has given us freedom of the press.

It is the soldier, not the poet, who has given us freedom of speech.

It is the soldier, not the campus organizer, who has given us the right to demonstrate.

It is the soldier, not the lawyer, who has given us the right to a fair trial.

It is the soldier, not the pastor, who has given us the right to worship.

It is the soldier, not the politician, who has given us the right to vote.

It is the soldier, who salutes the flag, serves under the flag and whose coffin is draped by the flag, who gives the protester the right to burn the flag.

William Shakespeare once wrote, “To thine own self, be true.” 

Our brave soldiers are true to themselves, true to their country and true to the cause of freedom. On the beaches of Normandy in 1984, President Ronald Reagan addressed the “Boys of Pointe Du Hoc” and asked, “Why, why did you do it?  What impels you to put aside the instinct of self-preservation? We look at you and we know the answer.”

On Veteran’s Day this year, you only have to look at our active duty soldiers and veterans to know the answer. There is pride and respect in everything they do. On behalf of all we civilians, I want to thank all veterans for their service, commitment and sacrifice. Please know that there are many of us who continue to pray for all of our men and women in uniform, our veterans and all of their families. We will never forget. May God bless all of our soldiers and may God bless the United States of America.

Dennis Powers is the State Representative for the 36th district which includes Campbell and Union Counties.  Send your comments to DennisHPowers@Comcast.net or mail them to POB 179, Jacksboro, TN 37757.