Veterans: The U.S. Military This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

   On this Fourth of July, we do well to acknowledge theexistence of heroes. They do not, as in ancient times, dwell on mountain tops.Our heroes are those among us who, in putting aside all regard for themselves,act above and beyond the call of duty and in so doing give definition topatriotism and elevate all of us. Ideals such as peace, freedom, justice,opportunity and individualism are just dreams without someone to turn thoseideals into reality. Let's never forget the debt we owe to our fellow citizens.America is the land of the free because we are the home of the brave.
-David Mahoney

Great words from a great man. The action he commends hasbeen demonstrated by thousands upon thousands of American veterans, from thescrappy but valiant minutemen of the American Revolution to the military men andwomen who serve our nation today. They are not faceless clones, but individualswith joys, worries and sorrows who put their own problems aside to defend ourcountry and its ideals. Although these brave men and women have remainedabsolutely indispensable to the pursuit, attainment and security of the Americanideals Mahoney cites, they have been perpetually overlooked andunder-appreciated.

An example of indifference toward veterans is the lackof recognition of Veterans Day, which passes quickly and quietly. For those whocontinue to look upon this day with pride, it is difficult to deal with theoverwhelming apathy in this country. Even those who regard Veterans Day as morethan an excuse to hold another holiday sale at some megastore, however, usuallyfocus on veterans from World War II, the Vietnam War, the Korean War and DesertStorm, while forgetting about the men and women who secured our independence fromEngland during the Revolutionary War - arguably the most important war inAmerican history.

Tension between the colonists and Britain began toincrease with the passing of ludicrous taxes such as the Navigation Act, theQuartering Act, the Sugar Act and the

Tea Act. Peaceful treaties wereattempted, but a compromise could not be reached. Thomas Jefferson once said,"Rebellion against tyranny is obedience to God," and these words sum upthe beliefs of those first Americans as they rebelled against their oppressors.Through unbearably hot summers and frigid winters, they fought with freedom ontheir minds.

On April 19, 1775, hostilities erupted in Lexington andConcord. The colonists' passion made it evident that the only thing which wouldbring peace was war. The thirst for freedom could no longer remain unquenched andinjustices could no longer be tolerated. The possibility of being a country ofopportunity and individualism was too close and too great tosurrender.

The triumphs and tragedies of the Revolutionary War showAmericans a wonderful example of patriotism, determination and passion at theirpeak, and the importance of fighting for principles we hold dear. Without thedefeat of the British, it is possible that there would be no American history, atleast not one that included independence, freedom and a model of a constitutionalrepublic.

The fight for freedom has been prominent since the dawn ofcivilization. Just like any other people striving for independence, the colonistsfought Great Britain with a primal ferocity. Their struggles and sacrifices weregreat, but the minutemen and patriots were passionate as well as determined.

On the frigid Christmas Eve of 1776, General George Washington led histroops across the Delaware River to take British and Hessian troops by surprise.The military's dedication and passion made the dream of freedom a tangible,attainable reality - a reality not to be taken for granted.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

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Lily">This teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
Jan. 10 at 10:49 am
i love this so much!
TheWierdo said...
Sept. 21, 2016 at 1:35 pm
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