Through our history, there have been those among us rise up to pay the price of freedom. We know many of their names: men like George Washington, Patrick Henry; women like Betsy Ross and Dolly Madison. They and many others are the heroes of colonial America.
But their courage is not unique. Every generation has produced its own heroes: Clara Barton, Alvin York and Douglas McArthur, Norman Schwarzkopf and Christa McAuliffe, to name a few.
Not all of our heroes fought in the military campaigns. The terrorist attacks of 2001 reminded us all how we depend on our fellow citizens to protect, defend, and serve so that we can live in freedom.
Some have been ordinary citizens thrust into the front lines for our country. They include men like Todd Beamer, whose words, "Let's roll," became a battle cry for our nation. We must never forget their courage and selflessness.
But for every name we know, there are countless unknown countrymen and women who defended freedom. Not all of them died for our cause, but all were willing to. We must always remember and honor those who have stood at the gates of our cities for us.