22 years and 80 pounds ago, I was a plankowner on the USS Alexandria (SSN-757), riding atop the sail with my wife, participating in the launch ceremonies. I’m proud to have served. Grateful for those who have served. Indebted to those who died while serving. Thankful for those who continue to serve.
This Memorial Day, I’m drawn more than ever to the words of Abraham Lincoln. Speaking in his Gettysburg Address, he said, “It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”
Those beautiful words describe not only the incredible price American soldiers pay for our freedom, but also the responsibility that we owe to those soldiers to make sure their sacrifice was not in vain. Everyday, “We the People” are charged with making sure freedom is not lost in this great country. Do you want to be the generation that allowed freedom to perish? That allowed the greatest nation in the history of the planet to fail? I for one am not going to sit silently and wait for someone else to do something about it. Freedom to be great.
No longer in uniform. Still serving.