Let Freedom Ring

Veteran’s Day Speech – November 11, 2017

Huntington, Indiana

Mayor Brooks Fetters

 

American FlagToday, we will unveil and dedicate three long overdue tributes in recognition of Huntington County Veterans who have served and sacrificed for the cause of Freedom and Liberty in our nation’s wars.  The first is a plaque naming the servicemen killed in the Korean War and the second is a plaque naming the service men killed in the Viet Nam War.  Finally, we will unveil the Viet Nam War Monument in honor of all Huntington County veterans who served in the Viet Nam War.  

On this special day, we celebrate our veterans and the freedom we enjoy as a nation.  A quote attributed to Tim Craft is engraved on the Viet Nam war-dead plaque: “For those who fight for it, freedom has a flavor the protected will never know.”  I stand here today as one of the protected, grateful for those present and those unseen veterans who have made our collective freedom possible.

Freedom is rooted in our founding documents: the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.  Freedom is rooted in our Judeo-Christian heritage where Scripture teaches us that which we sense deep within ourselves, that we are free moral agents acting within the expansive parameters of God’s creation and sovereign will – free to make our own choices.

The history of the United States demonstrates our unshakable belief in the essential human right that we call Freedom.   In the Revolutionary War, our nation fought for the cause of freedom in the face of subjection.  In the Civil War, our nation fought for the cause of freedom in the face of slavery.  In World War I, World War II, the Korean War and in the Viet Nam War, our nation fought for the cause of freedom in the face of tyranny.  And still today, our nation fights for the cause of freedom in the face of terrorism.  Truly the only cause for a war worth fighting is to bring freedom to the oppressed. 

However, as Americans, we must be mindful of what true Freedom is and is not.  Pope John Paul II, is quoted as saying, “Every generation of Americans, needs to learn that Liberty is not the Freedom to do as you please, but the Freedom to do as you ought.”

And so today, as we thank and honor our veterans.

We celebrate our Freedom to Choose. . . the God we will worship, the work we will do, the places we will reside.

We celebrate our Freedom to Create . . . to dream of a better future, to dare to make a difference and to develop and better understanding of personal and global peace.

We celebrate our Freedom to Enjoy Community . . . in the places we travel, in the people we hold close and in the passions we pursue.

As you walk around this beautiful Veterans Memorial and take in the scenes and tributes, look into the faces of our veterans.  Each of those faces has a story.  Take a moment and listen carefully to their story, because every story they share is part of our history of Freedom. Let it Ring!


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