This weekend and throughout the year let’s honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice as well as the innocents who have been injured or perished at the hands of those who seek to destroy the simple yet powerful idea that this country represents. Know that their sacrifice is why we endure and that we remain resolute in protecting our freedom at all costs. During my visit to Pearl Harbor’s USS Arizona Memorial where even after all of these years, oil still seeps from below the final resting place of its crew, I was reminded of the awesome price our men and women have paid to defend liberty.
Last year I visited the training fields where young African American college students and crop dusters came together so many years ago to learn how to fly airplanes that protected our bombers during WWII. Known as the Tuskegee Airmen, these pilots fought to defend our great democracy even during times when the country might not have looked favorably upon them. Over 50,000 men paid the ultimate price in Vietnam fighting an unpopular war with the same dedication and sacrifice of those that came before them. Even our internal strife that turned brother against brother anchors the inherent moral compass that steers this great ship that is our country today and we can point to the White House as an indication of how far we have come.
To my boys, never take this “holiday” for granted. Always know how fortunate we are to be a part of this country. While at times she may be imperfect, our framers designed her to be self healing and created the mechanisms to ensure that she endures. Always respect those who serve and protect and remember that what defines you as a man does not lie in what you wear or the things you have, but rather, who you are – so go visit our Veteran’s memorial and say thanks to them and their families. God bless the USA!