For almost my entire life two days in November always held a special significance for me. On Saturday 10 November “Mother Green” turns 243 years old. To all the men and women who served her I want to say, ” Thank God such people lived among us.” I for one can say proudly that almost everything I achieved in my lifetime was born from your example. Those 3 words, Duty, Honor, Country somehow carry over to everyday life. On that day Marines around the world will celebrate the Marine Corps Birthday (and celebrate they do) along with the celebrations, also comes a tear for all our brothers and sisters who made the ultimate sacrifice. Freedom is not free.
Back in 1985 President Ronald Reagan in a speech at Paris Island, South Carolina at the graduation ceremony of some 200 new Marine recruits had this to say, “Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference in the world, but Marines don’t have that problem.” We thank you for that Dutch, a compliment from a President.
The very next day all of America enjoys a National Holiday. Veterans Day, set aside to give thanks and remember those who made all of our freedoms possible. There is a reason why millions of people around the world are trying to get to our country by any means possible. The words of Patrick Henry in a speech he made to the second Virginia Convention on March 3, 1775 can still be applied today, “Give Me Liberty or Give me death.” Those words have meaning when living in a country where freedom does not ring.
A young country struggling to break the bonds of oppressive tyrants, to live free or die were not just hollow words. America’s warriors have been validating those words since 1776. That’s 242 years of rejecting those who would tread on us. In the last few years it has become controversial even fashionable for some to not only show contempt for our country’s flag but to also kneel during our country’s National Anthem — at football games, and various other events. I see and hear from many of my friends and acquaintances how horrified they are by this demonstration. The calls for boycotting the NFL football games has become a war cry.
Who among us can say we are not hurt by this? Certainly not me. However, I am suggesting another approach to this. This is America. We are free to express our views and many have died to give them the right to that freedom. Why should we stop doing something we love doing; i.e., watching football? I say we should let them wear their knees out if they see fit because when it’s all said and done you will never defeat us. We love this country too much to let you bring us down and give up a part of our freedom to answer your blindness. That in my opinion is the best response without being hypocritical. Patriotism is not unfashionable, we will always serve our Country in the face of tyranny. Alfred Lord Tennyson said it best, “Ours is not to reason why, ours is to do or die. Semper Fi.
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