Those who make America great

November is a time to remember our military, our veterans, and the birthday of the US Marine Corps. November 11 is Veterans Day and we remember all our veterans and those currently serving in the US Military. And November 10 is the 246th birthday of the US Marine Corps. It was November 10, 1775 when the US Marine Corps was founded in Philadelphia. PA. Indeed, this is a time to remember.

The story of America has been written, in large part, by the selfless and noble deeds of hard working and dedicated men and women committed to liberty and justice in a free society. Our American Veterans and Service Personnel are, among others, truly endemic of that ranking. We commemorate Veterans’ Day to honor the men and women who have served in our Armed Forces. We pay tribute to them for their virtuous defense of our homeland and liberty, and thank them for their sacrifice on our behalf. As General Norman Schwarzkopf often quipped, “It doesn’t take a hero to order people into battle, it takes a hero to be one of those individuals who go into battle.”

On November 11, 1918, at 11 a.m., the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, the Armistice was signed which ended the First World War. Thereafter, November 11 was celebrated as Armistice Day. After World War II, that date became known as Veterans Day and we are proud on that date and every day to honor all who served and are serving our Country.

In the past century alone, through two world wars and the long, tense struggles of the Cold War, and on the front lines in places such as Korea, Vietnam, Beirut, Grenada, Panama, Somalia, Haiti, the Persian Gulf, the Balkans, Iraq and Afghanistan, our brave men and women in and out of uniform have risked their lives. They risked all they had to protect U.S. interests, assist our allies, promote peace, and to protect the lives of others. They fought our enemies on foreign shores, at sea and in the air to preserve freedom. They had no second thoughts as to what had to be done. Thanks to their extraordinary record of brilliant service, more people now live under freedom than at any other time in history. And as Ronald Reagan said, “America has a God given calling” to be a beacon of freedom and hope for the world. He often mentioned that “freedom is not reserved for a noble few, but for all humanity.” His vision of a “shinning city on a hill” serves as a reminder of the awesome responsibilities of such a great nation to extol freedom and liberty as the universal right of all people.

President Kennedy once said, “Democracy is never a final achievement. It is a call to untiring effort, to continual sacrifice and to the willingness, if necessary, to die in its defense.” We give thanks to the veterans and to the current members of our Armed Forces for showing that willingness.

Whether serving on bases and in ports at home or deployed across the globe, they have endured hardship and danger to protect our Nation and to defend freedom loving people around the world. Their deeds of commitment and valor bind us in our past, inspire us in the present, and strengthen us to meet the demanding challenges of the future. George Patton was known to have said “it is wrong for us to mourn the loss that died in battle. Rather we should thank God that such individuals had lived.”

And so, as a former US Marine … this columnist proudly proclaims …. SEMPER FIDELIS … “always be faithful.”

Robert Heichberger is a Gowanda resident.


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