To the Sound of the Guns

St. Petersburg, FL

In a place called Concord they fired the “shot heard round the world”, then they rode into history as they fought and died in places like: Bunker Hill, Valley Forge, Trenton and Yorktown.

They rode into the bayous of Louisiana and made history against the mighty British, they met Santa Ana at a mission in San Antonio, and gave us a battle cry that still rings in the ears of those who care.

They rode to the sound of the guns, in places like Vicksburg, Cemetery Ridge, Shiloh and Gettysburg. Brother against brother, father against son in battles for a future, a way of life and a piece of paper that was written in 1789.

They rode up a hill on an island in the Caribbean; behind a man named Teddy, many became saints that day on a hill named after Saint John.

They rode to the sound of the guns in trenches on a battlefield in France, only this time not all the riding was done on horses as tanks and planes were ridden to fight the war to end all wars.

In the 1940’s the ride to the sound of the guns became different as mechanized armies rolled again through the French countrysides. They rode to the sound of the guns in LSTs and amphibs on a beach called Omaha to stop a Nazi menace that had gone unchecked for too long.

They fought and cried and died on islands with unnamed beaches in the middle of the big, blue water they call the Pacific. The islands they visited are now tourist destinations, but then held only terror, places like Guadalcanal, Iwo Jima, Tarawa and Saipan. The bombs were bigger, the ships were mightier, and the aircraft were now mobile on their own floating
runways and a stealthy death lurked beneath the ocean surface.

In an event that was called a police action, a politically nice way of saying war, we rode to the sound of the guns in jets, and left good men and women behind in places like Pork Chop Hill, Chosen Reservoir and Inchon.

In a place called Khe Sanh many good marines met their maker, Da Nang held fear: or comfort if you visited at the right time. The Tet was a new year and a time when brave Americans would not be coming home. It was a time when we rode to the sound of the guns in choppers and Puff the Magic Dragon and airships that crossed the speed of sound to be chased by missiles that could fly as fast.

In Kuwait, Somalia, Kosovo, Afghanistan and Iraq we rode to the sound of the guns on Humvees, Apaches, Comanches, Blackhawks, Hornets and Eagles. We wish not to fight, but only to protect those endangered; terrorized by the madmen of this world and unable to defend themselves against those who steal and murder for that which is not theirs.

We are the American Vet, we came home standing, or on our shields of honor. Let it never be forgotten that the price of liberty is individual sacrifice and eternal vigilance.

So now on this Veterans Day, let us honor our heritage, our veterans and especially those who paid the ultimate price. May God Bless America and more importantly, may America Bless God!!

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