Thursday, July 4, 2013

The Rarest of Gifts

From Lieutenant Commander Rorke Denver:

The Holy Trinity of holidays in an American warriors mind, in my opinion, would be comprised of Memorial, Veterans and Independence Day. Of the three, Independence Day, or the 4th of July, holds a supreme station. Warriors are fighters. That is core to who they are. If you asked 100 of them to describe what they fight for, you would get many answers. Commonalities of service to country, for my brother warriors, for my family would ring out consistently. But if I had to pick one motivation or purpose, I could do no better than freedom. Freedom, and I will accept liberty as an equal concept, is the rarest of gifts we enjoy in this incomparable nation. This singular concept serves as a compass by which our nation, and each and every one of us chart our American experience. If you have never left our shores, it is hard to understand, on a visceral level, the value and experience of free peoples. Fear, bondage, oppression, servitude, confinement and subjugation are the reality of those who know no freedom. Trust, opportunity, faith, expression, voice and happiness are our reality. One of my favorite dictionary definitions highlights the difference. “The right and power to act, believe, or express oneself in a manner of ones own choosing”. That is what freedom offers, power and choosing. Our nation is young, but how far we have come. None of our exceptionalism would have been possible without freedom. On this Independence Day, you have a choice of what, with whom and how you celebrate. Remember that the very ability to choose is unique in the world. It has been defended from the day of “declaration”, often with blood, for just shy of 240 years. Choose wisely.

We highly recommend reading Damn Few: Making the Modern SEAL Warrior and watching Act of Valor if you have not done so already.  Happy Independence Day.


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