Thursday, December 3, 2009

COMMENTARY>>Thanksgiving reprise – Those who dare to be free

By Col. C.K. Hyde
314th Airlift Wing commander

Americans are the most generous people on earth, and one aspect of our generosity is recognizing we have much for which to be thankful. Being thankful is part of our national heritage as evidenced by a national holiday, enduring Thanksgiving proclamations such as those given by Abraham Lincoln and by a people who have given of themselves to preserve freedom. We show our thankfulness for our greatest national treasure, freedom, by preserving it for those who can only dream of the liberties we enjoy in America.

I am personally thankful for the United States armed forces who are instruments of good in a world where evil still exists and where tyrants still deprive people of freedom. I am grateful for men and women who dare to look beyond self, who understand that freedom can be lost if left undefended, and who dare to act in its behalf.

Theodore Roosevelt once said, “Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in the gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat.” It’s this same spirit I see in our Airmen, Soldiers, Sailors and Marines. Volunteers who see more than the comforts of a blessed nation -- they see the possibilities of triumph over oppression and the victory of freedom despite setbacks and sacrifice along the way.

I am thankful for the Airmen of the 314th Airlift Wing and Little Rock Air Force Base -- men and women who continue the legacy of audacious Airmen who dreamed mighty things and continue to defend freedom today. I am thankful for those who dare to be free and continue to make America a dawn of hope and freedom for the world.

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