By Ace Ventura, American Legion Post 109

Just before Election Day in 2018, an American soldier in Afghanistan posted on Facebook. He wrote, “As the USA gets ready to vote in our own election Tuesday, I hope everyone back home exercises their precious right to vote. And that whether the Republicans or the Democrats win, that we all remember that we have far more as Americans that unites us than divides us. United we stand, divided we fall. God bless America.” 

A veteran of two tours in Iraq, Major Taylor was killed when a member of the Afghan National Security Forces opened fire on him during an insider attack near Kabul.  Major Taylor did not need to serve in the military. Like all American veterans, he chose to serve.

The labels that we use today don’t matter much when facing mines and machine gunfire.  Politics are irrelevant to a family that hears, “We regret to inform you.”

While serving in wars from the American Revolution to our current operations against terrorism, one million American men and women have made the supreme sacrifice. We honor all of them — not just those with the highest medals or those who fought in the most famous battles.  They all died so we can continue to cherish the things that we love, freedom, country, and family.

As Legionnaires, we are pledged through the preamble of our organization’s constitution to “preserve the memories and incidents of our associations in the great wars.” This solemn promise is on the back of each American Legion membership card. Yet, we do not remember our fallen brothers and sisters-in-arms because of an edict or obligatory ritual. We do so because we want to.

As Americans, we should all remember that freedom isn’t free. It’s only possible because our fallen heroes have paid its high price.  Major Brent Taylor called on us to be unified. When we consider the sacrifice that he and his brothers and sister-in-arms made for us, it is the least that we can do for them.

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