Hats off to heroes who preserve freedom

Published 7:22 pm Friday, November 7, 2008

To the Editor:

Another Veterans Day is upon us on Tuesday. I just heard on the radio about a 90-year-old who passed away this week.

He had stormed the beach at Normandy on D-Day. He said when the ramps were lowered on the landing crafts and they entered the water, they had to push their fallen comrades aside in order to advance toward the beach. He also said their slogan was “God is on our side.”

Another veteran, this one 83 years old and my stepfather, suffered a heart attack last week. Fortunately, with the aid of Southampton Memorial Hospital, the Nightingale helicopter and the Sentara Heart Center, he survived.

He is a quiet, humble man who doesn’t talk much about his war experiences. But as a 19-year-old he was an electrician on a Navy ship in the Pacific. He didn’t win a Silver Star or singlehandedly save the ship. He just did his duty and helped defeat the Japanese and preserve freedom for the world.

They all did, that Greatest Generation. Our soldiers, sailors, aviators, doctors and nurses in Korea, Vietnam, the Middle East or any other battles since then have been doing their duty as well.

To those who are guarding our freedoms, and indeed the hope of freedom for the rest of the world, thank you. You are our heroes.

Frank Rickman