U.S. soldiers guarded our freedoms

To the editor: On Nov. 4, I cast my vote in our nations presidential election. I took part in a process and freedom unparalleled in any other country. The next day, I went to work and freely discussed that election with others who were pleased, or not, with the results. No one feared being silenced or retribution. Through the week, I read newspapers and magazines with a broad span of opinions. Regardless of their political persuasion not one of them is afraid of government takeover or shut down. On Sunday, I stood in church with about seventy people. We openly gathered, prayed, and without restraint opened the Bible and taught its truth. At the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, I stood at a monument on a street corner with a small band of veterans who came, at the appointed time, to remember and honor those who paid the price of our freedom. I vacillated between sadness and anger as I realized that only five people from the community stood with them. Cars sped by. Business continued. People were elsewhere doing what they thought was more important, seemingly oblivious to the fact that on that tiny piece of ground stood representatives of those who made life as they know it possible. The election, speech, press, religion; every freedom was purchased with the lives of those willing to put on the uniform of our country and, if necessary, make the supreme sacrifice. To every veteran and current member of our military I offer my sincerest thanks. To the rest of us, a question: what ingratitude or misplaced priorities left that small group of exceptional men, to whom we owe so much, in the cold on a little street corner to honor and remember alone? Guy Swartwout Pottersville, NY

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