It was General George Patton who said,
“Wars may be fought with weapons, but wars are won by men.”
U.S. President Harry Truman said,
“America was not built on fear, but on courage, on imagination, and an unbeatable determination to do the job at hand. ”
Going all the way back to the beginning of our new nation, America has been blessed with brave and courageous men and women who have been willing to give it all for the America they love.
Nathan Hale, hung by the British Army, his last words before dying,
“I regret that I have but one life to lose for my country.”
Captain James Lawrence, commander of the American ship, the Chesapeake, fatally wounded early in the battle, manning his post from the cockpit ordering to his last breath,
“Keep the guns going! Fight her till she strikes or sinks! Don’t give up the ship!”
This is the same unbelievable courage we see in our brave men and women serving today – they are willing to give their very lives for their country – and many do.
Over the last 20 years, I’ve had the great honor to interview over one hundred war veterans. I’ve talked with those who fought in World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War. I’ve talked with foot soldiers who fought in Europe, one man who was captured at the Battle of the Bulge and spent 4 months in a German concentration camp, and those men who were forced to walk in that 100 mile death walk know as the Bataan Death March.
I’ve talked with one Marine Ranger who was forced to kill the enemy with his bare hands. A Pt boat gunner, an airplane mechanic, a jet fighter pilot, a helicopter crew chief, a tank gunner, an Army nurse – men and women from every possible circumstance – and I find two things to be consistently true.
• First, each of them believes that whatever they did in the war wasn’t anything special. They were just doing their job. To put their life on the line for our country was their job and responsibility, and each was proud to serve.
• Second, each brave war veteran I have spoken with always wants to give the credit to someone else – each of them is hesitant to take any credit for themselves. That is amazing. But that’s the kind of people America is made of. We can be so thankful for the heroes, those who ride in cars during parades, those who are lavished with awards and medals and praise – we can thank God for them. But wars are not won by a few decorated heroes. For every one decorated hero, there are literally millions of brave American Veterans who have fought to give us the freedom we have today – and we are so very thankful.
As we remember this Veterans Day, 2019, it is important to be reminded, lest we forget – it is this – Freedom Is Not Free – let us never forget.