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This week we honor and celebrate our veterans. No matter which branch of the military any particular American has served in, he or she deserves our utmost respect. Freedom is not free. In America liberty comes only as devoted individuals willfully serve their country, and if necessary lay down their lives for their fellow countrymen. So, today I would like to personally thank every man and woman who has ever served in our armed forces, including those who are currently serving our country.
It is important to honor our veterans, because there is a growing number of Americans who no longer appreciate the sacrifices made by our military personnel. For instance, Pete Davidson recently mocked Navy Seal veteran, Dan Crenshaw, on Saturday Night Live (SNL). Crenshaw is a retired lieutenant commander with the U.S. Navy, who was deployed overseas five times. However, on his third tour of duty in Afghanistan he lost his right eye because of an IED explosion and he nearly lost his left eye as well. Even though he lost his right eye, he still returned for two more tours of duty overseas. Today, Crenshaw wears a patch over his right eye, which Davidson and his audience thinks is funny. In spite of the mockery he received on SNL for his eyepatch, though, Crenshaw went on to win election to the U.S. House of Representatives on Nov. 6 with 53.4 percent of the vote in Texas’s 2nd Congressional District.
The sacrifices made by our military personnel are real and they can be very costly, and we need to remember that fact. There is never a just reason for flippancy towards our veterans, especially on Veterans Day. Instead, Veterans Day is a day for each American citizen to credit his or her freedom to those who paid for it. Some of our soldiers paid for our liberty with the ultimate payment of life itself.
During the days of the American Civil War William W. Bennett served as an army chaplain under the rebel command of Gen. Robert E. Lee. Bennett took the time to record some of the last words of his dying rebel soldiers. One of those soldiers was T.S. Chandler of the Sixth South Carolina Regiment. Bennett recorded Chandler’s last words, which were intended for his mother:
“Tell my mother that I am lying without hope of recovery…My hope is in Christ, for whose sake I hope to be saved. Tell her that she and my brother cannot see me again on earth, but they can meet me in heaven…I know I am going there.”
As we celebrate our veterans this week let us not forget that all gave some and some gave all.
The Korean War Memorial in Washington, D.C.