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Soldiers of Freedom 11/09/2007

Veterans Day

We salute those who fight for our freedom -- and the freedom of others.

On a weekend when we remember America's veterans, fallen soldiers and their families, I want to bring you some words from the leader of America's oldest ally in the quest for freedom. France's newly-elected president Nicolas Sarkozy spoke to Congress this week, reminding us of the true meaning of freedom.

"From the very beginning, the American dream meant proving to all mankind that freedom, justice, human rights and democracy were no utopia but were rather the most realistic policy there is and the most likely to improve the fate of each and every person," Sarkozy proclaimed. "America did not teach men the idea of freedom; she taught them how to practice it. And she fought for this freedom whenever she felt it to be threatened somewhere in the world. It was by watching America grow that men and women understood that freedom was possible."

Even in today's confusing world, there is no denying that America still stands for freedom in the face of tyranny, just as she did when Hitler marched across Sarkozy's countryside.

"On behalf of my generation," the French president said, "which did not experience war but knows how much it owes to their courage and their sacrifice; on behalf of our children, who must never forget; to all the veterans who are here today...I want to express the deep, sincere gratitude of the French people. I want to tell you that whenever an American soldier falls somewhere in the world, I think of what the American army did for France."

He went on to recount America's stand against the "threat of a new tyranny" in the Cold War and the modern specter of terrorism after September 11, 2001.

"The terrorists had thought they would weaken you. They made you greater. The entire world felt admiration for the courage of the American people," Sarkozy said, then personalized his declaration. "For me, failure is not an option. Terrorism will not win because democracies are not weak, because we are not afraid of this barbarism."

Our brave soldiers have always met this barbarism face-to-face and America has never backed down. Because of such sacrifice, freedom is not merely a distant memory or elusive ideal -- it is still the living dream of every good person on earth.

My friend Dave Roever, a Vietnam veteran who miraculously survived a hand grenade explosion (though it burned over 50% of his body and left him noticeably disfigured,) has spent a lot of time with our soldiers in the Middle East.

"I've been with [a soldier] when he died in Iraq, whispering in his ear," Reover told me, "and the last words he heard me say was, 'This is not a hospital, it's a sanctuary. This is not a gurney, it's an altar. And you are more than a soldier, you're a sacrifice. And I've come from America to tell you thank you.'"

This weekend, all of us who love and cherish freedom say to our soldiers and their families, "Thank you."


Author: James Robison

Word Count: 500

About the author: James Robison is the founder and president of LIFE Outreach International, a Christian media ministry and mission relief organization. He and his wife, Betty, host of the television program Life Today; He has authored numerous books, including The Absolutes: Freedom's Only Hope and True Prosperity.

Media Contact: Randy Robison, editor at jamesrobison.net

Photo available upon request. Reprint rights granted with attribution for complete, unedited article. Revisions allowed only with approval.