Liberty, Honor, Sacrifice
Grade 11 Iain Lanphier
Teacher Scott Middlemist Brophy College Prep
The theme for Honoring America’s Veterans Phoenix Veteran’s Day Parade for 2022 is Liberty, Honor, and Sacrifice. Reflecting on these three words about the many veterans I have had the true privilege to interact with and learn from led me to conclude that the theme should, perhaps, more accurately read Sacrifice, Honor, and Liberty. Liberty, or freedom, is something either protected or gained from the sacrifices U.S. military personnel make, or made, in the case of
veterans. The privilege of liberty we enjoy as U.S. citizens would not be possible without the brave veterans that have answered the call to service. Liberty is the outcome, the product, of their sacrifice. For this reason, Sacrifice should be the first ideal of the theme. The sacrifices made by veterans and their families that enable liberties often go unrecognized. There is the ultimate sacrifice of death in the line of duty, sacrificing personal safety to protect another, sacrificing time with family, and loved ones, the sacrifice of limited personal comfort, and even the sacrifice of silence, as some veterans cannot share their experiences. Secondly, the sacrifices made by the families of military veterans are even more unrecognized and overlooked than those of the veterans themselves. The indirect sacrifice of veterans’ families is, I think, key to the third ideal in the 2022 HAV Veteran’s Day Parade theme. Honor. Honor is complicated. Veterans will often state that it was an honor to serve. By this, I think they mean that they hold great esteem or respect military ideals and their mission and have contributed to protecting Liberty. On the other hand, Honor is often confused with respect. Respect is a more fleeting ideal; a person can be respected only until they wrong another. But Honor is more lasting and is gained through sacrifice. This upcoming Veteran’s Day, I will think of the sacrifice made by veterans first, and then the honor they have gained because of this sacrifice, followed next by the liberty their sacrifices preserved.
Congratulations to all our 2022 essay winners! Join them at the 26th annual Phoenix Veteran’s Day Parade, Friday, November 11th, at 11 a.m. For more information about the parade visit https://honoringamericasveterans.org/2022-phoenix-veterans-day-parade/