To the Editor:
If we look for the answer as to why for so many years we have achieved so much, prospered as no other people on Earth, it was because here in this land we unleash the energy and individual genius of man for a greater extent that’s ever been done before.
Freedom and the dignity of the individual would have been more available and assured there than any other place on Earth. The price for this freedom at times has been high, but we have never been unwilling to pay that price.
Those who say that we’re at a time when there are no heroes, they just don’t know where to look.
The sloping hills of Arlington National Cemetery, with its row upon row of simple, white markers bearing crosses or Stars of David, they add up to only a tiny fraction of the price that has been paid for our freedom.
Each one of those markers is a monument to the kind of hero I spoke of earlier. Their lives ended in places called Della Wood, the Argons, Omaha Beach, Salerno, and halfway around the world, Guadalcanal, Tarawa, Pork Chop Hill, the Chosen Reservoir, and a hundred rice patties and in the jungles of a place called Viet Nam.
Under one such marker, lies a young man, Martin Treptile, who left his job in a small town, a barbershop, in 1917 to go to France with the famous Rainbow Division.
There on the western front, he was killed, trying to carry a message between battalions under heavy artillery fire.
We’re told on his body was found a diary. On the flyleaf, under the heading, ‘My Pledge,’ he had written these words:
“America must win this war. Therefore I will work, I will save, I will sacrifice, I will endure, I will fight cheerfully and do my upmost, as if the issue of the whole struggle depended on me alone.”
We must realize that no arsenal nor weapons of the arsenals of the world are so formidable as the will and moral courage of free men and women.
It is a weapon our adversaries in today’s world do not have. It is a weapon that we as Americans do have. Let that be understood by those who practice terrorism, and prey upon their neighbors as the enemies of freedom.
Those who are potential adversaries, they will be reminded that peace is the highest aspiration of the American people. We will negotiate for it, sacrifice for it, but we will not surrender it, now or ever.
We are Americans.
Please join us at the Letcher County Veterans Memorial Museum on Nov. 8 at 1 p.m. to pay our respects to our veterans.
Letcher County Veterans
Letcher County Veterans