Two hundred and thirty-three years ago, the United States Army was established to defend our Nation. From the Revolutionary War to the Global War on Terror, our Soldiers remain Army Strong with a deep commitment to our core values and beliefs. This 233rd birthday commemorates Americaâ€™s Army â€“ Soldiers, Families and Civilians â€“ who are achieving a level of excellence that is truly Army Strong both here and abroad. Their willingness to sacrifice to build a better future for others and to preserve our way of life is without a doubt, the Strength of our Nation. (From the U.S. Army birthday website)
The Army provides the image of America to the rest of the world. Despite their rugged appearance and awesome power, Soldiers represent the dignity of a nation born to freedom. Who can forget the images of children flocking to American Army troops as they entered the cities of Iraq, or France, or countless other countries around the world? Their image is international, and they are internationally respected for who they are and what they represent.
The Army’s history dates back to the days before we were an independent nation. Born out of a need for the protection of liberty and rights, it has never deviated from its charter, and continues its worthy mission still today. Its newest Soldiers are young, but they are the descendents of those sons of liberty who fought to make us a free country over two centuries ago.
Printed on the left side of the Northeast Kansas Korean War Memorial is this simple, but powerful poem:
It Is The Soldier
It is the Soldier, not the minister
Who has given us freedom of religion.
It is the Soldier, not the reporter
Who has given us freedom of the press.
It is the Soldier, not the poet
Who has given us freedom of speech.
It is the Soldier, not the campus organizer
Who has given us freedom to protest.
It is the Soldier, not the lawyer
Who has given us the right to a fair trial.
It is the Soldier, not the politician
Who has given us the right to vote.
It is the Soldier who salutes the flag,
Who serves beneath the flag,
And whose coffin is draped by the flag,
Who allows the protester to burn the flag.
Charles Michael Province, U.S. Army
Copyright Charles M. Province, 1970, 2005
“Never in the history of the world has any soldier sacrificed more of the freedom and liberty of total strangers than the American soldier.” (Zell Miller)
Happy birthday, Army. Army strong.