Opinion by Nora Drenner
It is the soldier, not the reporter, who has given us the freedom of the press. It is the soldier, not the poet, who has given us the freedom of speech. It is the soldier, not the campus organizer, who gives us the freedom to demonstrate. It is the soldier who salutes the flag, who serves beneath the flag, and whose coffin is draped by the flag, who allows the protester to burn the flag by WWII U.S. Army soldier Charles M. Province
Recently I heard Governor Edwards say during a press conference that is was time to stop worrying about losing our rights and time to do the right thing. With that single comment, I felt like I had been struck in the heart with a sharp stick, because I was raised in a home whose parents taught that doing the right thing meant doing what was right to keep our rights.
I am the daughter of a father who proudly served in the U.S Army for 20 years. He was deployed to Korea during that war and to Vietnam during that war too. He also served in Thailand, twice in Germany, and he was stateside in many places throughout our great nation. Many holidays including Christmas were celebrated without daddy
This was back before the internet, so the only contact we had with daddy when he was across the world was snail mail as it is called today. I can remember as a child and into my young teen years looking in the mailbox for a letter from my daddy. He would write to us in September in hopes we would receive the letter in time for Christmas. Easter letters had a January postmark. Those long- awaited letters were always read around the dining room table or in the living room around mother’s chair.
When you asked my daddy what he did in the Army, his comment was always “my job.” And when you asked him what his job was, daddy would say “protecting our freedoms.”
This country is not perfect, neither am I, nor was my father, but I would hope most of us would agree that those who live in the USA enjoy freedoms that folks in other countries across the world only dream about.
Engraved into one wall at the Korean War Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. are the words “Freedom is not Free.”
Throughout the history of our country soldiers -Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard- of many racial and ethnic backgrounds have stood to defend the freedoms of all.
This Memorial weekend as you gather with family and friends, my hope is you pause to remember the lives of all the men and women who paid the highest price for freedom.
Also remember that a virus can and will not take away those freedoms unless we let it!
Categories: Special Feature