Let me start by simply saying, "Thank you." To every man and woman who preserved my liberty this year, and for all of you who have ever proudly worn our Nation's uniform, I say, "Thank you!"And this:
Today I read a book, which I bought from a bookstore a mile from my home. There are more books in that Barnes & Noble than once filled an entire library, and they represent the independent thought and ideas of thousands and thousands of people living free. For this weighty privilege, I say, "Thank you!"
Last Sunday, I attended mass with my family. We worshiped God in the exact manner of our own choosing. And I am sadly reminded that there are millions of other people still suffering dire religious persecution, even death, doled out by governments that do not respect this inalienable right. To all my American soldiers, past and present, I say, "Thank you!"
Our daughter went to college classes today. There she studies and argues with her professors. She is hammering out her own view of the world in safety, and with the dignity of a free woman in charge of her own destiny. To all of you veterans, wherever you are, she and I say, "Thank you!"
I have lived in America all my life, for 56 years now, and every single night when I have laid my head upon my pillow, you were somewhere watching over my safety. For every single one of those nights of peaceful rest, I simply say, "Thank you!"Thank you also, Kyle-Anne, for a great eloquent article that showing us what we all should have in mind and wishing to say the same.
My friend and fellow blogger, Lt. Commender Robin Stormer posted in his blog the most beautiful and sad WWI (May 3, 1915) poem "In Flanders Fields" to commemorate the Veterans Day:
By: Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD (1872-1918)There's a story behind this poem which is given here, where I copied the above from.
IN FLANDERS FIELDS the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
Here's a powerful WWII eulogy delivered by Rabbi Roland Gittelsohn at the Marine Cemetery after the battle of Iwo Jima:
Here lie men who loved America because their ancestors generations ago helped in her founding, and other men who loved her with equal passion because they themselves or their own fathers escaped from oppression to her blessed shores. Here lie officers and men, Negroes and whites, rich men and poor . . . together. Here are Protestants, Catholics and Jews together. Here no man prefers another because of his faith or despises him because of his color. Here there are no quotas of how many from each group are admitted or allowed. Among these men, there is no discrimination. No prejudices. No hatred. Theirs is the highest and purest democracy …
Whosoever of us lifts his hand in hate against a brother, or who thinks himself superior to those who happen to be in the minority, makes of this ceremony and the bloody sacrifice it commemorates, an empty, hollow mockery. To this, then, as our solemn duty, sacred duty do we the living now dedicate ourselves: to the right of Protestants, Catholics, and Jews, of white men and Negroes alike, to enjoy the democracy for which all of them have here paid the price …
We here solemnly swear that this shall not be in vain. Out of this and from the suffering and sorrow of those who mourn this will come, we promise, the birth of a new freedom for the sons of men everywhere.