The Boy That Died For Your Freedom (A Fourth Of July Tribute)

All wars are boyish, and are fought by boys.

–Herman Melville

 Mothers should negotiate between nations. Mothers of fighting countries would agree: Stop this killing now. Stop it now.

 Yoshikani Taki

I wonder how big the number would be. If we were to add up all the boys that have been killed to protect our freedom, what would be the sum total? Add them all- since the very beginning. Since the revolutionary war right up to this moment now. Right up to this moment with me sitting in my comfortable ergonomic chair, in my air conditioned room, reading their horror stories.

This was the thought going through my mind today, while reading a book I borrowed from my friend McKay Jones. I could hardly read through the sorrow flowing from my tear ducts. Stories of mere children – their blood discoloring the earth beneath them, and their friends falling all around them. How scared they must have been.

The book is the story of the six soldiers pictured in the famous photograph above. I borrowed the book four years ago, but am just reading it today. I now realize, I should have read it much earlier. The timing could not be better, though. It’s just a few days before our country celebrates our freedom and independence. But what we really should be celebrating are those boys, because without them there would be no celebration.

So today, in my own small way, I want to honor six boys. “A mill worker from New England, a Kentucky tobacco farmer, a Pennsylvania coal miner’s son, a Texan from the oil fields, a boy from Wisconsin’s dairy land, and an Arizona Indian.” You were much younger then, than I am now, but you were much braver. Thank you for your courage. Thank you for your honor.


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