Julio Gonzalez, M.D., J.D.
Today, we honor those patriots who engaged in the most selfless activity they could; serving their country so the rest of us may live free.
Clearly, the United States is blessed in having the greatest fighting force ever assembled. But the strength of our armed forces lies not in our accumulation of expensive equipment, or in our collection of gallant ships, or even in our warbirds that stealthily fly through the night. Rather, our greatest asset is the fine collection of selfless men and women who, despite knowing that theirs was a journey from which they may never return, undertook it nevertheless.
And they did it for us!
These men and women put it all on the line, not because they hated what lied before them, but because they loved what stood behind them. They knew they were fighting for something so magnificent that it was worth sacrificing everything.
They sacrificed because they knewthat upon these United States of America laid humanity's greatest hope. They knew that they were part of a great experiment that redefined the relationship between man and government, and they knew that it was an experiment that could not, under any circumstances, fail.
As we remember and reflect upon the great and varied sacrifices our veterans have made for us throughout history, let us resolve to not allow their efforts to fade into posterity.
Let us acknowledge that it is not enough for us to remember their courage, their selflessness, and their sacrifice. If we are truly to honor their lives then we must also pick up their bayonets and continue their march where they left off.
Let us teach our children the meaning of their actions and the reasons for their sacrifices. Let's remember that there are so many things greater than ourselves; things like our faiths, our families, and our country, and that none of these will long survive unless we are willing to fight, and yes, die, for their continued existence.
Let us undertake each and every act as if the legacy of these fighting men and women depend on the success of each of our actions because I assure you that they do.
And let us resolve to continuously strive to serve as the great example for others to emulate and to recognize the great potential of a nation resigned to promote peace, even if such a peace means having to reluctantly pick up a sword.
Thank you, veterans. Thank you so much for your service.
Dr. Julio Gonzalez is an orthopaedic surgeon and lawyer living in Venice, Florida. He is the author of The Federalist Pages and serves in the Florida House of Representatives. He can be reached through www.thefederalistpages.com to arrange a lecture or book signing.