While we all take a moment to enjoy Independence Day with family and friends, let us also take a quick moment to reflect on what makes America so special. And, importantly for Vets on Duty, why so many have voluntarily put their life on the line to defend it.
America is an idea. It’s an idea that our Founders wrote down on a piece of paper almost 250 years ago and that thousands have subsequently laid down their life to defend. It’s an idea that is grounded in the belief that any individual can pursue meaning however they define it regardless of background. It does not matter who your parent are, where you come from, the color of your skin, the religion you practice. Even 250 years later it is still unique, and still absolutely worth defending.
Recently, our nation has been more and more divided. Whether it be in the classroom, the neighborhood, the workplace, or in the entertainment we watch, so many seem intent on dividing us rather than uniting us. On tearing down our country, rather than celebrating it.
Our enemies see this and are surely planning to take advantage of it to undermine the very way of life we enjoy everyday.
As VOD Chairman and U.S. Army veteran Jeremy Hunt recently wrote:
“No generation of Americans achieved greatness through apathy and disregard for the nation we call home. The promise of America has been secured only by generations of citizens who united around common pride and hope for what America can be in the future.
There will come a day when all of us will renew our appreciation for living in the greatest country in the world. We can either choose that day now during a time of peace or allow our enemies to choose it for us during a time of war.”
He’s exactly right. We must never forget why we enjoy the everyday freedoms most around the world do not have: because of the sacrifices of generations ofAmerican men and women in uniform and their families.
As you enjoy your cookout with your family, look up at fireworks, or simply soak in a day off from work, remember, those moments came only through sacrifice. Remember that we are in this fight for freedom together, that sacrifices must continue to be made to protect that freedom, and that our enemies know we are far stronger when united—and that terrifies them.
Happy Independence Day. Thank you to all who have served, will serve, and to their families who support them every step of the way.
Executive Director, Veterans On Duty