Letter: They gave up their tomorrows for our todays
Throughout America’s history, men and women have sacrificed their lives for our freedoms — our freedom to speak freely, our freedom to bear arms, our freedom to worship, our freedom to assemble, our freedom to a fair and honest trial and our freedom to vote in free and fair elections. Those who perished in pursuit of our basic freedoms as Americans gave up all of their tomorrows for all of our todays.
Think about that. They gave up all of their tomorrows for all of our todays, and they did so by raising their right hand and swearing an oath:
“I, (name), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.”
The oath is for an indeterminate period; no duration is specifically defined.
In 1962, I was privileged to repeat those sacred words and was duly sworn in as a U.S. Marine for an indeterminate period of time.
During my time on active duty, I witnessed men pay the price for our freedoms and for the freedoms that being an American affords each and every one of us. I watched them sacrifice all of their tomorrows for all of our todays, and I did so with a previously unknown sense of pride, appreciation, and yes, personal grief. We all only have one life, and they sacrificed their life for all of us.
Do we not owe them a debt that can only be paid by embracing and defending the freedoms they sacrificed everything for?
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