The Herald Banner, Greenville, TX

Opinion

July 5, 2014

Service members deserve our thanks

GREENVILLE — More than two million active and reserve military personnel serve in the United States Military across the world: from just down the road in Fort Worth to the Forward Operating Base Jackson in the Helmand Province of Afghanistan, U.S. men and women endure harsh conditions, potentially fatal missions, rigorous training and heart-aching separation.

These men and women serve to protect the United States and the way of life that we enjoy. You don’t have to keep close tabs on international news to know that countries across the world, from Africa to the Middle East to Europe, are undergoing intense periods of violence and destabilization. While there are certainly issues that we have to overcome domestically, they pale in comparison to these international problems. We have current service members and veterans to thank for that. And thank them we should, regardless of political affiliation or opinion on U.S. foreign policy.

July 4 is when our forefathers declared our independence. It took sacrifice and struggle during the Revolutionary War to ensure that freedom, sacrifices that members of the U.S. military, both past and present, have continued to make. More than 2.7 million members of the American military have been killed or wounded while serving. As President Thomas Jefferson said, “The price of freedom is eternal vigilance.”

So as you are enjoying barbecue, fireworks and a day off this Fourth of July, take a moment to thank U.S. service members, veterans and their families for ensuring our freedom and liberties, and defending what makes America great, as summarized in the Declaration of Independence:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

This editorial reflects the opinion of the Herald-Banner editorial board. The board can be reached at editor@heraldbanner.com.

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