US flag stars

Independence Day

Military History

In high school I took a class on Military History and while that didn’t start my appreciation for Independence Day, it did enhance my appreciation. I thought we’d learn about battles and strategies and the heroes who have gone before. The class ended up being a glorified study hall and our only grade was on the end of term project: a book report or a military model. I’ve had a long affair with books, ever since I learned how to read, so I choose a book report.

I don’t remember the book I did the report on, but I read so many military books, mostly about the wars in Korea and Vietnam that the US participated in. The books were fascinating to me, all these men that went and fought. It wasn’t till later, after I moved onto the European Theater for World War II, that I appreciated more the sacrifice of those who didn’t make it…and why veterans of any war call those who didn’t make it, the real heroes.

Parris Island Yellow Footprints
Yellow footprints.

Parris Island

It was a very real honor to observe, in early 2008, a Marine graduation ceremony at Parris Island in South Carolina. And before the ceremony, our guide showed us around the camp, at least in the unrestricted areas.

Iwo Jima statue
Iwo Jima rememberance.
Molly Marine
Molly Marine.
Iron Mike
Iron Mike.

It was also very humbling to stand there, that day, watching the cadets graduate, and knowing some will go off and die for their country. How great a price, we citizens demand. How unselfish our military forces.

USA Flag Flying
American Flag on Graduation Day

What freedoms do you hold too loosely to? Don’t forget to value what is most important. Thank a soldier this Independence Day.

Several good books to read:
Citizen Soldier by Stephen Ambrose
We Were Soldiers Once…and Young by Hal Moore
Service by Marcus Luttrell (honestly, he could have called the book Sacrifice)
Never Quit by Jimmy Settle

What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly; ’tis dearness only that gives everything its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed, if so celestial an article as Freedom should not be highly rated.

~Thomas Paine on the Declaration of Independence
Independence Day
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