You Made It Possible | Teen Ink

You Made It Possible

November 13, 2018
By glisteningwriting GOLD, Hartland, Wisconsin
glisteningwriting GOLD, Hartland, Wisconsin
12 articles 0 photos 0 comments

Master Sergeant Carl D. Beck, a soldier who spent nearly a week playing hide and seek from German troops, will never meet the LGBTQ citizens attending rallies, pride across their faces. For once, the oppressed feel they have a voice. I’m standing up because you gave me my freedom to speak, they think.

Captain Herbert Epstein, a veteran who saw thousands of bodies piled like autumn leaves, will never meet Colin Kaepernick, a man who questioned the ideals of America’s anthem. Football players across the nation take a knee during the National Anthem, causing controversy in America, yet bring Americans closer than before. I’m speaking out because you gave me my freedom to speak, Colin thinks.

General Jeanne M. Holm, a fearless female soldier, will never meet the women who scream to end gender roles and stereotypes. Women have decided silence is no longer the intelligent option, and there is a better world for them. I’m changing tradition because you gave me my freedom to speak, they think.

My great-grandfather Ben, an Army soldier who experienced events too traumatic to explain, will never meet me, a child who stands on a football field on a brisk afternoon protesting gun violence in schools. Chants and cries burst like fireworks on the Fourth of July. I pound my fist in the air, my voice echoing into the rambunctious silence. I’m speaking the truth because you gave me my freedom to speak, I think.

Millions of soldiers have protected, are protecting, or considering protecting our freedom of speech. Freedom of speech means I have the opportunity to share my ideas. It means I have the honor of carrying out veterans’ and soldiers’ legacies. It means I get to take a stand. The men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces, whether past or present, have made it possible for me to speak out. I will take advantage of that opportunity each day to make Master Sergeant Carl D. Beck, Captain Herbert Epstein, General Jeanne M. Holm, my great-grandfather, and many more proud they fought for my rights.

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