(This post is courtesy of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll. There is more about that at the end of this post.)
Almost a month ago, the Wednesday Hero Blogroll received an email from a reader named Mike Gardner that contained something he had written in honor of this country's heroes. He asked that it be considered for a future post. It took almost a month, but here is his tribute.
At The Right Time, We Remember
The honor roll goes back farther than we can remember, it contains names we will never know...
I wasn't there when the American Colonial Army stood winter guard in the snows of Valley Forge wearing bloody rags for boots as they fought for my freedom.
I wasn't there in the war of 1812.
I wasn't in the trenches when the German's seared the lungs of young American men with mustard gas as they fought for my freedom in World War One.
I wasn't at Pearl Harbor when a single Japanese bomb detonated a million pounds of black powder on the Arizona and instantaneously killed over one thousand American sailors preparing to defend my freedom against the Japanese and the Nazis.
I didn't see the bullet riddled bodies of the Americans who died defending my freedom in Korea.
I only vaguely remember the nightly news clips of American soldiers as they carried out our government's orders in the jungles and swamps and tunnels of Vietnam.
I have never been with a family who lost a son or a daughter defending Kuwait, Afghanistan, or Iraq.
I wasn't there with any of them when they suffered as prisoners of war in any of these wars.
I have never been with a family whose child died in a peace time military training exercise.
Not every one of our veterans saw combat. Some were clerks, cooks, mechanics, machinists. Some served during war time, some served during peace time, some serve in peace today, ready for battle tomorrow.
Today they prepare for the ongoing war against terrorists. Some gave their lives, some suffered wounds, some saw things that no human should ever have to see, and many did things that no human should ever have to do. And all gave their daily life, for a period of time, while many more gave their time to work in the industries that sustained our veterans.
Not all of those who have protected my freedom were even in the military. Some of them were the firemen, policemen, and paramedics who risked their lives each day, rushing in where most of us would never tread. Some are the doctors and nurses who treat the wounded, and go home and cry for them.
Some of them were "just" passengers on commercial airline flights who, with faith in Christ, calmly chose to fight, and die if necessary, rather than let Flight 93 be used as a weapon against their country and their fellow citizens.
When I tried to join the US Air Force, my application was turned down for medical reasons.
Because others were, and will be there, I am privileged to continue to live in the greatest nation the world has ever known and to enjoy the greatest freedoms that any people have ever known.
The honor roll stretches forward to times, and places, and names we will never know...
And so I thank you, veteran, whoever you are, and wherever you are, whenever your service. Thank you Vet.
Today, I remember WHY I am free, and I thank you. I know that when you were asked, at the right time, like Christ, you gave your life for me.
These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives so that others may enjoy the freedoms we get to enjoy everyday. For that, I am proud to call them Hero.
We Should Not Only Mourn These Men And Women Who Died, We Should Also Thank God That Such People Lived
This post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll. If you would like to participate in honoring the brave men and women who serve this great country, you can find out how by going here.