By Emily Bleazard
Published on November 10, 2017

My great-uncle Dr. David Wray is a 94-year-old World War II veteran. His love of country is palpable, and it has never been so evident than this Veterans Day.

I recently had the honor of inviting my Uncle David to a fancy gala meant to honor veterans. At one point during the evening, the speaker asked all veterans in the audience to stand. Men and women around the room immediately stood and were greeted with a powerful round of applause. Uncle David’s frail body took much longer than the rest to stand upright, but as he rose, tears began to cascade down his wrinkled face.

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At first I worried he was in pain, but then I realized his reaction wasn’t a result of pain at all. No, it wasn’t the pain of sacrifice, pain of body, or pain of spirit that prompted these tears – it was his reverence for the American principles for which he fought. He fought to protect the principles of freedom.

Uncle David’s example reminds and motivates me to protect and promote the principles of freedom. He stood up for my freedom, and I will stand up for the future generations.

We owe our veterans more than we can repay – but my hope is that today and every day we will reflect, remember and promote the principles of freedom they fought for on our behalf.

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