November 5, 2001
Freedom is not free
I am writing this letter from an overseas country while serving my country - the United States. My country is also the land that I was born and raised in. I am writing this letter to stress the importance of a holiday called Veterans Day, especially in the current world situation we are in today.
Our country would not be standing today without those such as myself and those soldiers, airmen, sailors and marines who serve today and those who have served before me. Many of those servicemen and women also fought, killed, lived through hell, served in places they did not want to go to, were injured or wounded, or even died while serving the country they swore to defend.
Let us remember the many brave servicemen and women who served our country in Europe and the Pacific during both of the World Wars. Let us remember those marines who raised the American flag high on a Pacific island, the soldiers and civilians who lived and died in the Bataan Death March, and the troops who walked on the beaches of Normandy against a heavily defended oppressor. Let us remember those servicemen who crossed the 38th Parallel in Korea only to be turned around by an even stronger rival at the Yalu River. Remember the servicemen who went to Vietnam because their country told them they had to go. Let us remember those who served or fought in Grenada, Panama, Desert Storm, Somalia, Bosnia, Kosovo, and even those right now in central Asia.
My experience in the military ‹ I have only been on active duty for less than a year ‹ is nothing compared to what many others have experienced. Many veterans paid for their freedom with blood, sweat, tears and their own lives. We are one of the few countries in the world which honors those who have served their country, even in the worst situations.
For this Veterans Day, I ask that you take a little piece of your time to be thankful for those both living and deceased who served this great nation. America would not be standing tall today without the men and women who served their country.
Honor your veterans for those veterans are also someone's relatives, parents, grandparents, friends or loved ones. Remember this Veterans Day and all other Veterans Days to follow. Freedom is not free.
Pedro O. Agapay III, Bothell resident/American serviceman currently stationed overseas