Picture of the day - June 20, 2005
Veterans Memorial Park - Bristol, Va
The United States Of America is a peace-loving nation that was built upon a
foundation of fairness, equality, democracy and free enterprise. Our founding
fathers envisioned a country whose citizens are endowed with a God-given right
to pursue happiness & success and worship God in any way they choose, so
long as the rights of others to do the same are respected and upheld. And for
well over two centuries that model has worked exceedingly well.
But not everyone shares those ideals. Some nations and groups abhor what America
stands for and/or fears what would happen if those ideals were to take root on
their soil. And then there are those among us who simply are troublemakers
looking for a fight.
Simply put, from the very day when the colonists embarked upon the journey that
would lead us to independence, there has been someone, somewhere in the world
who would try to bring us down. For roughly two and a half centuries, our brave men and women in
uniform have fought under the Stars & Stripes to preserve the freedoms and
way of life that beautiful flag
Yes, America is indeed a peace-loving nation with a very big heart. No other
country on the face of the earth has even come close to supplying as much aid
& comfort, food and medicine to those in need, including our enemies. But we
don't back down when our freedoms, ideals and way of life are threatened.
Throughout our relatively short history, it has been necessary to call upon our
military time and again to protect us and our allies against those who would do
us harm and seek to destroy everything that is good and right about our country. And
they have done so with spectacular success and enormous pride in their country,
their flag and their contributions to protecting them.
Arlington, Normandy, Flanders Field....these hallowed grounds and
countless other U.S. military cemeteries around the world serve as silent
testimonials to the courage and valor of America's citizen soldiers, sailors,
airmen and marines who have given their all so the rest of us can live in peace
and enjoy the freedoms guaranteed by our Constitution. And of course there are
also the multitudes of wounded combat veterans who literally gave a piece of
themselves in our defense.
It is certainly a cliché, but true nonetheless - Freedom isn't free. It was
bought and paid for with the blood of all those who selflessly gave their lives, livelihoods,
limbs and mobility for what they believed in. It was bought and paid for at the
price of countless fathers, mothers, brother's, sisters, sons, daughters,
uncles, aunts and friends who left with a sacred mission but won't be coming
back to those they left behind.
And that mission continues still today in Afghanistan, Iraq, and numerous other
hot spots around the globe. Our men and women are still fighting under the Stars
& Stripes wherever the Commander-In-Chief (a civilian by the way) finds it necessary
to send them.
By-and-large, they do it without reservation or regret. They do it with pride in
their country and in themselves. They do it because they know the freedoms
guaranteed by the constitution and represented by the Flag must be protected or
they will fall. They do it because they know freedom comes with a high price
tag, and they're willing to pay that price if need be.
It's an awesome sight to behold through teary eyes when we see a military cemetery
with row after row after row of graves decorated with American Flags. There is
no higher honor than to be laid to rest under the Flag that one died protecting.
But all around the country, many cities and towns are building formal memorials
to our fallen soldiers. Today's picture features one such memorial: Veterans
Memorial Park in Bristol, Virginia.
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