Here's a good reminder of who secured our freedom as an independent Republic: A Tradition of Sacrifice, From Yorktown to Ramadi. As the author of this op-ed, a former Navy Seal, writes:
Let's remember on Memorial Day—and every other day, for that matter—that America did not become a nation without a fight. Last week, I found myself in Washington, D.C., admiring a bronze statue of George Washington. The statue shows him as a general, astride a horse, sword drawn at the ready. This was Washington as a true American leader, inspiring those around him by showing that he too was willing to risk death for the cause of victory. The statue brought to mind the thousands of soldiers who marched with him into battle against the British, facing seemingly impossible odds.
It was not the Declaration of Independence that gave us freedom but the Continental Army. America was born from conflict, delivered by soldiers willing to pay with their blood the tremendous cost of freedom.
The dead did not wish to be martyred. They no doubt longed to return to their homes and families. But they believed in the "glorious cause," something far greater than themselves. Despite knowing the dangers before them, they followed Gen. Washington into the fray even when victory seemed hopeless and the cause all but lost.A special thanks to all the men and women who have served our country honorably in its defense, and especially those who have given the last full measure of their devotion to our country and its cause. You have helped to preserve freedom not just here at home, but have defended it abroad, from Valley Forge to the Shores of Tripoli, from Bull Run to San Juan Hill, from Omaha Beach to the Berlin Wall, from Inchon to Afghanistan. Thank you.