2nd Place

 Ruby Price – 11th grade, Shadow Ridge High School; Teacher: Stacy Roberts


Much is forgotten to history. Sucked into the fleeting oblivion of human memory that causes a life-changing event for some to be non-existent for others. The service of Cold War veterans seems to fall under that category for many Americans. Those nearly 50 years of tension should be prevalent in most people’s minds, but we are finding that there is little to be said for those who served our country during those tumultuous times. For though the Cold War involved no combat, it was still a war, and countless sacrifices were made daily for Americans to live their lives in comfort.

As Veteran’s Day approaches, it is important that we acknowledge the silent sacrifice of those who served during the Cold War. It is safe to say that warriors are held in high esteem in our country. After all, our most popular sport is one where 300-pound men crash and tackle into each other, warring over an egg-shaped ball. Singularly, this speaks volumes on the emphasis on violence in our culture. This fixation carries over into who we value in our society, veterans included.

As Americans, we all love an invigorating battle of brute strength, but the Cold War was much more than that. Its battles were fought with words and threats, which are often taken less seriously in our culture. However, the Cold War was one of the most restive periods in American history. At any moment, the United States could have plunged into the third World War. At any moment, schools and cities could have been bombed. At any moment, the military could have been forced into action. Our veterans served with this fear burning in their minds, yet they pressed on.

On September 1, 1983, Korean Airlines flight 007 was shot down by the Soviet Union, killing 269 innocent civilians. My father, Donavon Price, was on the USS Coral Sea when this tragic event took place. Tensions were high and stress was palpable as the crew wondered what this act of aggression could lead to. They didn’t know whether they would head home after seven months at sea or be dispatched into enemy waters. The Cold War was filled with moments like this, moments of terror and anxiety as our country was pulled from the brink of war, time and time again. Should we not honor those who set aside their comfort, despite whether bloody battles were waged or not? Being a veteran has no conditions other than to serve your country, which is what these Cold War veterans have done, asking for nothing in return. They have sacrificed, though they haven’t shouted their exploits to the world. They sacrificed quietly, humbly, gracefully. A silent sacrifice; the most noble of them all. One that should be celebrated. Rewarded. Honored.

Please join us for the 2017 Phoenix Veterans Day Parade on Saturday, November 11 to honor our Cold War heroes and all our veterans. Our three Essay Contest winners will be riding on the Hall of Flame fire truck! For more info about the parade, click HERE.