Letter: Sacrifices were made to preserve liberty
This month, we as Americans celebrated the passage of the Declaration of Independence and the life and liberty we enjoy in this great country.
Most, if not all, took a moment to reflect on the sacrifice that so many have made to preserve that liberty. Time after time,, generation after generation, men and women have given their lives, and their blood is in the soil beneath our feet and in the air that we breathe. We are here, we are free, because of what they gave.
This month, many of us also observed the anniversary of the battle of Gettysburg and the incredible actions of the First Minnesota. On July 2, one hour before sunset, in the same hot temperatures we sweltered under recently, they counterattacked and held against a much larger Confederate force, giving the Union units time to arrive and stabilize the Union line. If the line had broken, the Confederates would have marched on to Washington, with little resistance.
On that one day, at that one battle, the course of our history changed forever. For better or worse, we became one nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.
We are Americans, and to those heroes we owe the future. We are the land of the brave, not the home of the fearful. We are the Golden Door, not the closed one. We are the Pursuers of Happiness, not hatred.
The blood that is soaked into our soil is not solely male, nor Christian, nor white, nor of a certain sexual preference. It is the blood of humankind.
Michele Olson, a Minnesotan and ex-military spouse