The President has declared the entire month of November a salute to those who served in our military. His expression of gratitude was well received, but recently I saw a sign that made a way for every one of us to say thanks. That message was, to thank a veteran, be the kind of American worth fighting for.
A veteran is someone who felt the call of duty and put their life on hold to wear the uniform. They gave up their right to freedom, essentially entering into a period of servitude to protect us. They spent long tours of duty away from home undergoing hardships and facing dangers we only imagine.
As Americans, we believe in the rights of the individual, that every person has the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. We believe in the right for everyone to worship as they see fit, without interference from anyone else, and to speak their minds freely, without fear of retribution. If accused of an illegal act, we are innocent until proven guilty by a jury of our peers. We take these things for granted, yet much of the world doesn’t have them. We forget how hard our forefathers fought for these rights. Sometimes we even seem to forget these rights exist for all people, especially during difficult times, like we’ve endured since the twin towers fell. But our soldier’s won’t forget, because they’ve willingly surrendered their freedoms to serve the country, to defend our constitution, to fight for freedom. Duty, honor, country is what drives them.
The President’a proclamation says ‘These patriots safeguard the values that keep our great Nation strong. During National Veterans and Military Families Month, we honor and express our deep appreciation for these brave men and women and their families.’
To honor them, remember and respect those hard-won rights. Let’s be the type of Americans worth fighting for.
I’m Len Wilcox and that’s the Western View from AgNet West and Citrus Industry Magazine. Visit us on the web at www.citrusindustry.net.
About the Author
Len Wilcox is a retired scientist who also ran a newspaper and has written for agricultural publications since the 1980s. He was a regular contributor to California Farmer Magazine. His commentary “The Western View” is a regular feature on Farm City Newsday and AgNet West.