It is not by the grace of government that we enjoy our basic, fundamental rights as Americans. They are handed down by God, which means they are rights that all human beings should be afforded. It is only by the force of restrictive, tyrannical regimes that these freedoms can be taken away.

Unfortunately, throughout history governments have tried to find ways to oppress and control its people. The United States is different because it rejects the notion that government knows what is best for everyone. Without liberty and recognition of individual rights, we would not have become the most successful and prosperous nation the world has ever witnessed in such a short period of time.

Securing these virtues depends on a strong national defense, consisting of a unified group of courageous men and women willing to risk their lives to uphold freedom. On Veterans Day, we honor the individuals who fought to keep our nation safe from attack and free from tyranny.

No one understood the reality that freedom is not guaranteed better than our Founding Fathers. They knew that creating a government “of the people, by the people, for the people” required a military that was always ready to fight in order to maintain the rights of the people.

There are many ways for us to express our appreciation for those who have risked their lives for us. I encourage people to attend a Veterans Day event, such as a parade, ceremony or church service. Simply saying thank you to a veteran can go a long way toward showing your gratitude. Explain to your children why we are lucky to live in a country that respects individual freedom, and the sacrifice needed to make it a reality.

There is nothing about being an American that makes us inherently special or exceptional. We are not born with a gene that destines us for prosperity or success. What differentiates us from other peoples is the opportunity to work towards our individual self interests and to achieve greatness. The opportunities that we have as Americans are worth fighting for, and they are worth saying thank you to the men and women who have fought to make them possible.


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