Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Did You Vote Today? Then Thank a Veteran

I cast my vote today. It was an uneventful drive from my house to the Balch School in Norwood. There were no IEDs blowing up along the way. No guerrillas ambushed me from the trees. No Panzers hid themselves behind buildings. No Zeros strafed my car. No distant artillery rained a storm of shellfire upon the school parking lot. No saber wielding cavalrymen charged into the gym as I filled out my ballot.

All I had to deal with was road work on Route 1 and a small line to receive my ballot. Voting is relatively easy in this country because of people who did difficult things, who had to live with and fight through the threats I mentioned above. From SEALs taking out Osama bin Laden in Pakistan to Minutemen fighting the British at Lexington, our Veterans have sacrificed and we've reaped the rewards. So if you voted today, thank a Veteran.

Here's why:
Whoever wins this election, they were elected. They're not Royal Governors appointed by a monarch in Britain. Thanks to our Veterans.

Whatever happens with our economy, we're free to trade with other countries across the world. We don't have British ships commandeering our ships and kidnapping our sailors. Nor do we have to compete in trade-wars with the Spanish Empire, the Japanese Empire (which would have controlled China), or the Nazi Empire (which would have controlled Europe, Russia, and the Middle East). Thanks to our Veterans.

We have a black President, at least for the next few weeks, maybe the next few years. Thanks to Union Veterans, slavery was abolished. Thanks to Soldiers and National Guardsmen, schools were integrated. We have no poll taxes, no literacy tests, no more Jim Crow.

General Eisenhower sent the 101st Airborne to Bastogne in 1944, then President Eisenhower sent them to Little Rock in 1957

We no longer fear nuclear Armaggedon with the Soviets because our Veterans were a strong presence in Western Europe, Southeast Asia, and in the world's oceans.

Thanks to our Veterans, Al-Qaeda's destructive activities have been contained to the Middle East and North Africa. They no longer terrorize us.

Thanks to our Veterans, Osama bin Laden is dead.

Thanks to our Veterans, we live in a peaceful country. And when disaster strikes, men and women in uniform are there to assist us.

New Jersey National Guard, Hoboken, NJ

US Marine Corps, Staten Island, NY

US Air Force, Newburgh, NY

New York Air National Guard, Staten Island, NY

Our rights are written in the Constitution with ink, but the blood of our Veterans is what gives those words life. "The price of liberty is eternal vigilance." Our Veterans have been the vigilant ones, paying the price for our freedoms.

So if you exercised your right to vote today, remember how much hard work, how much sacrifice was made for you to be able to.