By John Cox
Special to The Globe
JOPLIN, Mo. —
To those who have fought and died for us:
To all who made this country great.
Not only for those who with swords and bullets defended us, but also those who fought with words and ideas, with prayers and deeds, and also those who upheld those too weak to defend themselves, the powerless and the meek.
And too for those who battled against ignorance, prejudice and hate.
We honor you here.
We honor you when we walk free and safe.
We honor you when we worship, when we alone decide how to do so.
We honor you when we read without censorship, vote, assemble and travel.
We are a nation of many cultures and ideas, not perfect, but still a shining example of democracy made possible by the sacrifice, blood, sweat and tears of those who put others before self.
God bless the USA.