Words worth sharing

Published 5:28 pm Tuesday, November 13, 2018

As Beaufort County honored members of the U.S. Armed Forces in ceremonies throughout the county this past weekend, the American Legion Post No. 15 held its annual service at Veterans Memorial Park in Washington.

Among the speakers and the music meant to honor our veterans, Betsy Lee Hodges, with the American Legion Auxiliary, shared a special poem written by Charles M. Province entitled, “It Is The Soldier.”

It is the Soldier, not the minister
Who has given us freedom of religion.

It is the Soldier, not the reporter
Who has given us freedom of the press.

It is the Soldier, not the poet
Who has given us freedom of speech.

It is the Soldier, not the campus organizer
Who has given us freedom to protest.

It is the Soldier, not the lawyer
Who has given us the right to a fair trial.

It is the Soldier, not the politician
Who has given us the right to vote.

It is the Soldier who salutes the flag,
Who serves beneath the flag,
And whose coffin is draped by the flag,
Who allows the protester to burn the flag.

“Let us remember what the veteran does when he or she goes out and serves out country,” Hodges admonished those assembled. “This is not all, but look at the privileges that veterans give through their services.”

While this and the other services served as honorable commemorations of the sacrifices made by those who served, it is important to remember that our gratitude should not be limited solely to one weekend each year.

Rather, try to keep in the back of your mind, year round, that there are those among us who answered a calling to service, giving of their own freedom and taking an oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies foreign and domestic.

Millions of men and women have taken that oath over the years, and for that we should be grateful. If not our soldiers and our veterans, who else can we depend on to protect the freedoms granted in the Constitution?

In addition to the poem Hodges shared, bear this in mind as you go about your daily life, words on a bookmark handed out to each person who attended the service on Saturday — If you want to thank a veteran, be the kind of American worth fighting for.