Grat­i­tude for sac­ri­fices is eter­nal

San Antonio Express-News - - FROM THE COVER - By Paul DuBay Paul DuBay re­sides in San An­to­nio.

You glo­ri­ous up­hold­ers and de­fend­ers of the U.S. Constitution: There are not enough words to ex­press my ap­pre­ci­a­tion for all you have done and what you con­tinue to do to make the United States of Amer­ica, the most won­der­ful coun­try to ever ex­ist, an even bet­ter place.

I have al­ways felt gen­uinely pa­tri­otic. I grad­u­ated in 1976, the Bi­cen­ten­nial year, turned 18 and was elated to vote in my first elec­tion — all at the same time.

Most of all, I did not have to go to Viet­nam. Mak­ing a long story short, since the age of 5, I thought I was go­ing grow up, turn 18 and die in a place called Viet­nam. Nei­ther my par­ents nor the church I was re­quired to at­tend of­fered con­so­la­tion. Thus, while I was grow­ing up in the rel­a­tive safety of Mid­west corn­fields, my heart has al­ways known that those who gave their lives did so to en­sure that I (and a few mil­lion like me) did not have to pay such a dear price.

I can never honor them, thank them or love them enough, yet I try to do so all the same. The same goes for ev­ery hon­or­able ser­vice­man and ser­vice­woman I have en­coun­tered through­out my life, who are cur­rently part of my life, and those to come.

While it is ob­vi­ous that his­tory teaches mor­tals that the un­just among us and the un­holy dogs of war shall al­ways snarl their drool-filled hate, the U.S. Constitution stands in prov­i­den­tial tes­ta­ment that, like a man once said about a Paul McCart­ney con­cert, “You come away with the know­ing hope that the world can be the kind of place you and those you love en­vi­sion.”

Many have been, are, and al­ways shall be, blessed to know such, and I dare to count you and me among them. For that rea­son and many more, I thank you for liv­ing your oath to up­hold and de­fend the U.S. Constitution and our “repub­lic for which it stands, one na­tion, un­der God, indivisible with lib­erty and jus­tice for all.”

With my eter­nal grat­i­tude, and a heart­felt salute, “Happy Ar­mistice Day! Happy Vet­er­ans Day!”

Laredo Morn­ing Times file photo

Rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the Laredo Vet­er­ans Color Guard lead the an­nual Vet­er­ans Day Pa­rade last year. We can never honor, thank or love those who served enough.

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