We’ve all had defining moments in our personal lives. We celebrate the happy milestones like graduating from high school or college, meeting the love of your life and welcoming a child or grandchild into the world. Not all defining moments are happy ones or easy ones, such as the loss of a cherished relationship or loved one. But we persevere through the hard times with help from our friends, family and faith.
Our nation has also experienced many defining moments, some good, some bad and some extraordinarily tragic. But our nation too has persevered through the hard times, thanks to the service and sacrifice of our veterans who, throughout our history, have accepted it as their duty to protect our country and our citizens at all costs.
From the very beginning of the United States of America, our Founding Fathers knew there was a better way. They determined it was possible to live in freedom and created founding documents that would ensure our freedoms would be protected from generation to generation.
Yet, they had to fight for that freedom and vision. It came at great cost and led to many defining moments for military families who sent their loved ones off to fight and, in some cases, to sacrifice their lives for the birth of our great nation founded in freedom rather than tyranny.
Ever since, our country has led in showing the world what it looks like when its people are free. However, maintaining that freedom continued to come at a cost.
Our veterans’ defining moments, their willingness to serve, their willingness to be a part of something special, have continued the vision of our Founding Fathers.
A delegate from Maryland, just after the Constitutional Convention on Sept. 18, 1787, wrote in his journal these words….
“A lady asked Dr. Benjamin Franklin, Well Doctor what have we got, a republic or a monarchy? A republic, replied Doctor Franklin, if you can keep it.”
By the grace of God and the service and sacrifice of our veterans, we have been able to protect our freedoms …so far.
Today, our nation faces another defining moment. As we take time to celebrate and honor our veterans, we do so in the wake of another conflict – a conflict in the Middle East that is the single deadliest day for the Jewish people since the Holocaust.
We see terror groups chanting death to Israel and America. There is a heaviness on all our hearts for those fighting right now for the right to even exist.
And that, my friends, is who and what the American soldier is here to defend.
We cannot and must not ever let groups of terror threaten or scare us just because we believe in freedom…freedom of speech, freedom of religion and freedom of the press!
Our veterans fought to uphold and defend these freedoms throughout our nation’s history, and we are going to hold onto them for generations to come.
As we honor our veterans who are with us today and remember those who have left this earthly life, we do so with a grateful heart for them and for all who fight for and defend this great country. Take this message with you each and every day. Remember those who have fought, thank those who have served, and pray for those who are defending this great nation right now, protecting and upholding our freedoms that were given to us so long ago.
Let us always remember we are One Nation, Under God, Indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for ALL, the United States of America.
Representative Clint Owlett
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Patricia Hippler