(Author’s Note: Austin Hill co-wrote this editorial with Dennis Mansfield, Author of “Finding Malone,” a real-life story of fathers, sons, and valor on the battlefields of World War II.)
It’s a day to honor those who have served in our military, yes, but it is also a day when many American civilians enjoy a holiday from their labors.
But whether one chooses work or rest on this day, one truth remains: there would be no national holiday, nor would there be the freedom to work and be productive, without the sacrifice of our veterans – now and in the future.
Case in point: Cadet Colin Mansfield will graduate from the United States Military Academy at West Point in May 2014. As with all who serve he endured an age-old tradition called boot camp - where new recruits have their civilian parts disassembled – and their newly issued G.I. parts assembled.
It’s impossible to gain an understanding of military small unit tactics, if one has never gone through boot camp. Yet, do not for a minute think that this self-evident truth lessens the sincerity of those civilians who applaud from the sidelines. They are not alone. Today’s veterans, like Cadet Mansfield, must also applaud from the sidelines and admit something, too: twenty-two-year-old men save the world in 1945.
Historian Stephen Ambrose showed us they were brothers fighting for their brothers. Many returned home & chose not to talk about it. Their silence often led to frustration, which then became harshness toward their family members, causing deep strain on all.
The VA estimated the number of World War II veterans at 5,032,591. It also projects around 414,000 deaths per year among World War II veterans, putting the rate at which World War II vets are dying at 1,135 per day.
We’re losing the greatest generation – yet, the impactful legacies of such strong soldiers are living on vibrantly through their families & their stories.
It is widely understood that the young American heroes of World War II fought-back tyranny, and secured the world in the name of the rights and liberties of the individual person. Yet central to those rights and liberties is a principle that has defined America’s strength, and has been for the last half-century transforming the globe: the rights and liberties of individuals to privately own property.
Austin Hill is an Author, Consultant, and Host of "Austin Hill's Big World of Small Business," a syndicated talk show about small business ownership and entrepreneurship. He is Co-Author of the new release "The Virtues Of Capitalism: A Moral Case For Free Markets." , Author of "White House Confidential: The Little Book Of Weird Presidential History," and a frequent guest host for Washington, DC's 105.9 WMAL Talk Radio.