Too busy to vote in local elections? Tell the Marines

Tue, 09/16/2008 - 3:48pm
By: Letters to the ...

Every Fourth of July we celebrate the birth of our nation with parades, fireworks and family gatherings. Occasionally we may remember why we are actually celebrating.

On this day long ago men pledged their lives, fortunes, and sacred honor to create a nation unlike any other in human history, a representative government, where citizens could choose those that would represent their wishes.

This year as we celebrated, the Marines of Company A, BLT 1/6, 24th MEU, manned their windswept outpost in Afghanistan, praying that they too would be with us next year, and taking solace knowing that their families, friends and country were safe from harm’s way.

Like the men and women of the Revolution, the outcome for the Marines of Alpha Company was not certain on the Fourth of July. There is no certainty in war, but there is certainty that without men and women like these Marines, any future Fourth of July would be quite different.

What connects our soldiers of today with the soldiers of the Revolution is an idea. The idea that it is better to fight and sometimes die for freedom than to be a slave under tyranny.

This simple but profound truth has sent all of our good men and women to war, sometimes never to return to us. Our military has fought all over the globe for this idea, in Europe, Asia, and now in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Freedom, duty, honor: these are not simply words to the Marines of Alpha Company. It is the reason they serve. It is the reason all of our sons and daughters serve and have served in our armed forces.

What duty do we have to all those that have served and sometimes died for this idea? Before our Fourth of July celebration this year, Fayette County had a primary. Twenty-two percent of the electorate turned out to vote, and even less in the subsequent runoff election.

More people turned out for fireworks on the Fourth of July than voted in our primary elections.

The right to vote and choose our representatives [was] bought and paid for with the blood of our children, fathers, mothers, brothers, and daughters, past and present. Those of us who have lost a loved one or friend to war know this simple fact.

If you want to support our troops, then register to vote. Study the candidates; if they are incumbents, understand what they have done in office. Judge their actions, not just their words. Then cast your informed vote.

Honor those that have fought and died for your right to choose your representation and live in a country that allows it.

You say you’re too busy?

Tell it to the Marines of Alpha Company.

James Wingo

login to post comments