Honoring Veterans in the Community:
Seven continents, 196 countries, but only one United States of America. What makes this place different? What makes it special?
From the beginning, our Founding Fathers wanted Liberty and Freedom for all. The Declaration of Independence acknowledges our freedom, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
But it is not the words on a piece of paper that grant us Freedom; Freedom is something we have to fight for.
A strong military, made up of proud men and women who volunteer to fight for the Freedom of their country, blesses the citizens of the US. November 11 is only one out of the 365 days to honor these courageous men and women.
This year, to honor the occasion, Camas High School held a Veteran’s Day assembly on Thursday, November 10 honoring and recognizing several veterans at the school and a guest speaker. Students were also encouraged to ‘dress for respect’ or wear semi-formal attire for the day.
Lieutenant Colonel Christopher Murphy came to CHS to share his experience and what Veteran’s Day meant to him. Murphy served in the Air Force and Air National Guard with tours in Florida, Alaska, Louisiana, and a combat tour in Iraq. Although Murphy is now a commercial pilot for Southwest Airlines, during his guard duties, his job is to defend the Pacific Northwest. In Murphy’s six years in Portland, he has been a part of intercepting at least three direct threats, including one last year on the 4th of July.
Murphy said, “The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting,” a quote from Sun Tzu’s, The Art of War. Having a large military force, Murphy explains, serves as a strong deterrent to keep other countries and forces at bay.
As a Lieutenant Colonel, Murphy reminded students that a veteran is anyone who served in the military, no matter the amount of time or whether or not there was combat service. In addition, Murphy explained that one of the greatest things about living in America is the freedom to choose how a person wants to live their own lives.
Murphy challenges students to ask veterans of their personal experiences while serving. Maybe during the three-day weekend, students will take his advice and learn something new about a veteran.