I’ll never forget the first time I stood on that flat expanse of asphalt on the top of a hill on Camp Pendleton and watched them put a pair of boots on the ground with a rifle stuck in it and a helmet on top. Close to a thousand Marines were reminded that day that although they were part of the best trained, best equipped, most disciplined fighting force the world has ever known, they were all still mortal. It could have been you.
We’ve had plenty of death and suffering to deal with lately, but these Marines were different. People spend so much time lately trying to reduce their risk, make sure they aren’t exposed to things that might hurt them or make them uncomfortable or cause them pain. These men were the opposite. They willingly choose a profession where a bad day could mean they end up dead. Why did they do that?
It’s because they value freedom so much, both theirs and yours, that they were willing to sacrifice their lives for it. I think we could all do well to learn from their example. Our freedom is worth that much. We should all aspire to be like them, and at a minimum, remember the sacrifice they made for us.