Land of the Free, Home of the Brave

What can we learn from the American spirit of sacrifice?

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photo by Amanda Brauchler

A photo of the Marine Corps war memorial in Washington D.C., a statue of Joe Rosenthal’s photo of the six Marines raising the flag at Iwo Jima.

by Bennett Edlund, Opinion Editor

The hardest days are often the most worth living; for these are the fires that forge great men. The men whose shoulders you stand and whose trail you walk. It is quite easy to feel defeat, easy to feel lost and to feel alone. It is easy to think about yourself and not others. The easiest thing a person can do is give up. 

It is hard to be brave. I don’t mean taking a political stance or posting something to social media; It is brave to sacrifice for your fellow man; to protect those who cannot protect themselves; to fight for what is true. There are many people in our country who go to work and do not know if they will come home, many of whom live in our communities, and work to keep us safe. Our police, our veterans, our soldiers, these people show us what real bravery is real bravery embodies.

Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima, larger

It is hard to fight for what you know to be right, against all odds. 244 years ago a small group of people went to war and defeated the greatest empire in the world. That group fought to protect their God-given rights of life, liberty and justice for all. Those men had the strength to stand when the world was crashing down upon them.

The United States of America is a country built on the sacrifices of countless great men and women, not for the state or the world; These people made sacrifices in the hope that they would help the people around them and the people who will follow them. It may be hard to fight against the odds, hard to show bravery, to sacrifice for others and not for you; but that is what defines a great man. A country is built on the sacrifices of its people and lost on the lack thereof. When your time comes, if nothing else, remember this “There is no greater love than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:13