News: Soldiers reflect on freedom, Independence Day
Story by Sgt. Shantelle Campbell
TIKRIT, Iraq – Freedom. A liberty that is so deeply reflected and described in the Bill of Rights of our U.S. Constitution and is the root of what grew to become the Declaration of Independence, some 234 years ago.
Like love, freedom is both tangible and intangible; and at times, very measured. It can be taken away as well as it can be given. But, all the more reason it will always be worth fighting for.
Since the American Revolutionary War until now, men and women have fought to attain and preserve what Thomas Jefferson described in the Declaration of Independence as our “unalienable rights … life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”
“History shows that (many) sacrificed their lives and some of their freedoms for other people’s freedoms,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Michael S. McCoy, the top noncommissioned officer of the 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, out of Fort Riley, Kan. “That’s what we do in the military. We sacrifice a lot of our own freedoms to provide (and protect) the freedom of others and (our country).”
While many look forward to the Fourth of July for the numerous firework displays and extended weekends, Capt. Simon Welte, the commander of Bravo Battery, 2nd Battalion, 32nd Field Artillery Regiment said that it’s also important to remember the basis of the holiday – commemorating freedom.
“I think that the Fourth of July is one of the greatest holidays that the United States of America has,” said the Augusta, Ky., native.
“It’s not only a time (for celebration), but it’s also a time to be thankful for the ones who have given their lives for the freedoms that we have,” he concluded.