But perhaps our greatest gratitude should be reserved for those who stood up and said count me in back in the 1770s, for they made this great country possible, by rising up in the face of impossible odds and saying, “Count me in, I’ll do my part.” That often ragtag bunch stood against the greatest military power in the world, and they did it many times with only the clothes on their backs, not enough food, ammunition, or training, but they did it.
I also think of the many who came back and never quite forgave themselves for that. The WWII vet whose entire platoon died in the Ardennes, He survived only because he was pulled from the line for OCS the day before the battle. He passed on some years ago, but if he were here today I would say to him what I have to others. “We all signed the same check. It is only by the grace of God, that ours were not collected upon.” We may never know why that bother or sister was chosen, and we were spared, just that we were, and that God had a purpose for that.
To the brothers and sisters still with us, be at peace, to those who have gone before, fair winds and following seas, rest in peace.