September 4, 2010

Letter: Sheriff candidate Gonzalez thanks veterans for service

Last Saturday, an old friend invited me to attend the 5th Annual Fishing with the Vets outing, organized and run by the “Friends of Veterans” in Wind Lake. The event has become a yearly tradition that brings together veterans, living at the Union Grove Veterans Home, with volunteers who provide our vets with some well-deserved R&R. The event is based at the Wind Lake public boat launch, where canopies and tables are pitched so the vets can enjoy a wonderful spread of home cooked food, take turns fishing on pontoon boats, or simply enjoy the ride.

It was an honor to be invited, but the real privilege was being able to stand amidst the remnants of the American hero, described by Tom Brokaw as “The Greatest Generation.” Long after the din of the battle has faded, they course through the twilight of their  lives; quiet sentinels of a hard earned freedom that should never be taken for granted.

Today, our veterans continue to pay the toll required of us so we may enjoy the privilege of being called Americans. The legacy of the American serviceman lives on, epitomized by the  men and women who serve in the armed forces of the United States, at home and oversees. It is a fundamental bond that spans generations and unites us in the common cause of the American dream of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. As I watched these grizzled warriors quietly move out, my mind wandered back to General Douglas McArthur’s farewell speech at West Point. It remains one of the most stirring tributes to the American Serviceman that I’ve ever read, evoking an emotional response that rises from deep within and gets lodged in my throat. General McArthur distilled that credo, that bond, into three simple words that remain just as real today as they were back then, “Duty, Honor, Country…”

I leave you with a quote from the General’s parting words and urge you to remember that freedom isn’t free. It has been bought with the sacrifice of countless men and women who believed in this good and noble cause—a rich and wondrous melting pot called America.

“The shadows are lengthening for me. The twilight is here. My days of old have vanished - tone and tints. They have gone glimmering through the dreams of things that were. Their memory is one of wondrous beauty, watered by tears and coaxed and caressed by the smiles of yesterday. I listen then, but with thirsty ear, for the witching melody of faint bugles blowing reveille, of far drums beating the long roll. In my dreams I hear again the crash of guns, the rattle of musketry, the strange, mournful mutter of the battlefield. But in the evening of my memory I come back to West Point. Always there echoes and re-echoes: Duty, Honor, Country.”

General Douglas McArthur
May 12, 1962

To the veterans who have come before us, are here today, and are yet to come—thank you for your service.

Semper Fi,

Gonzalo Gonzalez
Caledonia, WI

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  1. LOVE NOT WAR9/04/2010 7:21 PM

    There should be no celebrations of war, death and destruction. Gonzalez will not have my vote due to the fact that he is so proud to have been part of a group of war mongers. We need a broker of peace to be our next sheriff, not a trigger happy ex-marine. We need an educated man like, Christopher Schmaling, to be our sheriff. Bring peace not war. Keep "Sheriff Commando" out of office and vote for Schmaling.

  2. Well said LOVE NOT WAR!

  3. Love not war, and Anon 10:10,

    I am a veteran, served my country after high school in Desert Storm. If you two self rightous individuals can't respect the fact that; your rights were granted to you not by your own accord but by the blood of the young men and women who came before you are complete morons. I joined the Marines after high school, I never thought twice. Ive seen things in Iraq that will stick with me for ever.I along with anyone whom has served this great country have a great deal of respect for those that have served their country. Men and women, young and old, have given of themselves in wartime as well as times of peace, willing to give their life to fight for the freedoms that A-holes like you take for granted.

  4. We need a "Sheriff Commando" in Racine. Softy Liberals like Schmaling haven't been cutting it.
    Semper Fi Gonzo, Semper Fi.