This I Believe

Jeffrey - Fort Hood, Texas
Entered on August 22, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: democracy

It’s 6:29 in the morning. The stars still shine down on the grass, glinting from the light coating of frost. A chill breeze cuts through my army-issued workout jacket as we wait in silence. I’m standing at the head of my squad in a four-rank rectangular formation, trying not to shiver in the cold. Some days I have to wonder exactly why I’m here.

I believe that a true democracy, whether it veers off to the left or to the right in the short term, will always find the true path through whatever challenges it will face. It is the collective voice of the citizens raised in open debate over issues that steers our course. The power of the individual to voice a critical opinion of the government as fervently and openly as a supportive one is a power worth fighting for.

I believe that a government that is grounded in rationality and the rights of man rather than in an appeal to faith and a dogma written millennia past is the course of the future. It is the only way society will evolve past our current childlike abdication of responsibility to a ‘higher power’. The right to freedom of and from religion is a right worth fighting for.

I believe that the United States of America and our Constitution, while imperfect, are the best tools of government that we have developed so far. This nation is truly a superpower; helping those in need and, when necessary, destroying the enemy through force of arms. This country has the potential for true greatness, and that potential is worth fighting for.

It’s 6:30 in the morning. The clear call of the bugle rings across the parade field. I snap to attention, saluting the colors as our army has done for centuries. All around me, hundreds of soldiers do the same. Once again, we renew our commitment to this country, and our sworn duty to defend the Constitution of the United States.

The American flag rises briskly and proudly. Another day begins.