This picture was taken on Veterans Day 1995 during an Presidential Wreath Laying Ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. I’m commanding the Army platoon to the left of the tomb.
On Thursday, I had the opportunity to speak at Moorlands Elementary School’s Veterans Day Assembly. Here are the notes from my talk to over 700 students, teachers, and parents:
“From 1993-1998, I served in the United States Army as an Infantry Officer in the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard). While I was trained as a combat infantry platoon leader, I had an interesting assignment with The Old Guard. I performed military ceremonies for the Army in Washington D.C., at the White House, the Pentagon, and at Arlington National Cemetery and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. It was a unique assignment.
But more important than getting to see and meet really important people in Washington, D.C., I recognized the freedom we have as citizens of the United States. And here’s one of the most important things we need to know and remember about our freedom: Freedom isn’t free. It costs somebody something to preserve our freedom. For the past 236 years, men and women in the United States military have been willing to give their lives and pay the ultimate price for our freedom.
This week, citizens in our state and nation had the opportunity to vote. We have this privilege because American military men and women are protecting our freedoms and rights, which includes our privilege to vote. Remember that because freedom isn’t free. Never take it for granted. That’s one of the things that makes our country so great. We can all make sacrifices, whether we have served or will one day serve in the military or not. We can all remember that freedom isn’t free. We can all be boys and girls and men and women of character who are willing to put other people before ourselves. We can all be willing to make sacrifices in our personal lives, in our families, our local communities, our state, and our nation to help preserve our freedom and the freedom of people around the world.
As we celebrate our veterans this year, remember that freedom isn’t free. Freedom costs somebody something so that others might be free.”