Appropriate words for this time of year, let’s consider the following popular poem attributed to Father Dennis O’Brien, M.M. (Maryknoll [N.Y.] Missioner) who served in the U. S. Marine Corps for three years after the attack on Pearl Harbor and served within his Catholic faith his entire life. According to the Catholic Community of Pius X of Dallas, Texas, where Fr. O’Brien lived and worked for years, O’Brien was always quick to state that he was not the author. The original author is apparently unknown.
I dedicate this to some special men who shaped my earliest impressions of what
veterans are: Freeman Elliot (W. W. I), Robert H. (Skeeter) McMillan Jr. and Raymond F. (Speed) Marlatt, my dad, (both W.W. II), James M. Anglemyer (Korean War) and all those who have served to protect and preserve our country.
It was the Veteran, not the reporter,
who has given us the freedom of the press.
It was the Veteran, not the poet, who has given us freedom of speech.
It was the Veteran, not the lawyer,
who has given us the right to fair trial.
It was the Veteran, not the campus organizer,
who has given us freedom to demonstrate.
It is the Veteran, who salutes the flag,
who served under the flag,
and whose coffin is draped by the flag,
who allows the protester to burn the flag.
Such freedoms should not be taken lightly nor for granted, but, thanks to our veterans, cherished every day.