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‘It’s the men and women who have given their lives for freedom … who are the t

DUBLIN – Many people look to the ball fields, stages or silver screen for their heroes, but it’s the men and women who have given their lives for freedom and their country who are the true heroes.
That was the message U.S. Army Capt. Phillip Schneider imparted to several hundred veterans and citizens gathered Saturday morning on the lawn of the UAW Local 2069 union hall at Dublin.
Schneider lost his best friend and several members of his platoon while serving in Iraq. He is now stationed in North Carolina at his own request so that he can provide assistance to his best friend’s wife and children.
The Army captain was among several people who spoke at Saturday morning’s Ride for Freedom Memorial Ceremony and Run to the Wall. The Local 2069 Veteran’s Committee sponsors the annual event, which culminates with hundreds of motorcycles leaving the grounds, bound for Washington, D.C.
Schneider gave a moving account of his experiences in Iraq, recounting the bravery of his fellow soldiers who all too often gave their lives to save others. In most cases, the deaths stemmed from explosions caused by IED’s (Improvised Explosive Devices).
It’s these stories of selflessness and bravery Schneider said need to be told so the nation’s citizens can truly understand the sacrifices being made to preserve their freedom.
One message several speakers stressed was that Memorial Day is more than a day for picnics and celebrating a day off from work and the beginning of summer.
“To many people, especially the nation’s thousands of combat veterans,” Memorial Day is a reminder that “the patriot’s blood is the seek of Freedom’s tree …,” said guest speaker Rev. Michael Honaker. It’s a reminder that “for love of country, each (soldier) accepted their death for a cause greater than themselves ….”
Honaker is pastor of River of Life Church in Dublin, a former Marine, and a first sergeant and chaplain for Virginia State Police.
Honaker said it is important that the nation honor those who have served the country, but it is equally important to remember those who gave their life for their country.
“Some who have gone into the battle to defend and protect their nation have returned. They … can tell their stories and relive their experiences, and we can thank and honor them. But there are others who did not return. They are not able to tell their story.”
Honaker said it is up to the nation to tell their story through remembrance of their sacrifice, Honaker noted.
He said he fears that people too oftent have the misconception that nothing is worth a war. But he reminded the crowd that “freedom comes with a cost.
“I thank God today that I have been privileged and blessed to live in a nation that for 233 years has produced citizen warriors” who value freedom and the nation’s safety more than their own safety, consider no sacrifice too great, and realize the country and its citizens are counting on them to preserve the American way of life.
Honaker recalled the story of a Vietnam soldier who, despite having his leg severed below the knee, refused to be evacuated and, instead, used a web belt as a tourniquet and jammed the leg into the dirt to curtail the bleeding so he could provide cover for his fellow soldiers.
“All gave some, but some gave all,” Honaker said.
“I thank God that even today, our nation still produces not only the world’s finest citizens, but this planets most noble, dedicated, and fiercest warriors who defend our freedom and keep us safe today,” he added.
Honaker concluded by loaning a “seemingly insignificant lump of stone” to one of the freedom riders to carry to the nation’s capital. He explained that the stone was a piece of the Pentagon he collected while there during the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
“On Sept. 11, 2001, the enemies of America and the American way of life mistakenly thought our resolve as a nation and our military might was defined or determined by the strength of a building,” Honaker said. “While the Pentagon may serve as a symbol or our military’s might … let us not forget that the strength and substance is, an always has been, the solider, sailor, the airman and the marine.

‘It’s the men and women who have given their lives for freedom … who are the t

DUBLIN – Many people look to the ball fields, stages or silver screen for their heroes, but it’s the men and women who have given their lives for freedom and their country who are the true heroes.
That was the message U.S. Army Capt. Phillip Schneider imparted to several hundred veterans and citizens gathered Saturday morning on the lawn of the UAW Local 2069 union hall at Dublin.
Schneider lost his best friend and several members of his platoon while serving in Iraq. He is now stationed in North Carolina at his own request so that he can provide assistance to his best friend’s wife and children.
The Army captain was among several people who spoke at Saturday morning’s Ride for Freedom Memorial Ceremony and Run to the Wall. The Local 2069 Veteran’s Committee sponsors the annual event, which culminates with hundreds of motorcycles leaving the grounds, bound for Washington, D.C.
Schneider gave a moving account of his experiences in Iraq, recounting the bravery of his fellow soldiers who all too often gave their lives to save others. In most cases, the deaths stemmed from explosions caused by IED’s (Improvised Explosive Devices).
It’s these stories of selflessness and bravery Schneider said need to be told so the nation’s citizens can truly understand the sacrifices being made to preserve their freedom.
One message several speakers stressed was that Memorial Day is more than a day for picnics and celebrating a day off from work and the beginning of summer.
“To many people, especially the nation’s thousands of combat veterans,” Memorial Day is a reminder that “the patriot’s blood is the seek of Freedom’s tree …,” said guest speaker Rev. Michael Honaker. It’s a reminder that “for love of country, each (soldier) accepted their death for a cause greater than themselves ….”
Honaker is pastor of River of Life Church in Dublin, a former Marine, and a first sergeant and chaplain for Virginia State Police.
Honaker said it is important that the nation honor those who have served the country, but it is equally important to remember those who gave their life for their country.
“Some who have gone into the battle to defend and protect their nation have returned. They … can tell their stories and relive their experiences, and we can thank and honor them. But there are others who did not return. They are not able to tell their story.”
Honaker said it is up to the nation to tell their story through remembrance of their sacrifice, Honaker noted.
He said he fears that people too oftent have the misconception that nothing is worth a war. But he reminded the crowd that “freedom comes with a cost.
“I thank God today that I have been privileged and blessed to live in a nation that for 233 years has produced citizen warriors” who value freedom and the nation’s safety more than their own safety, consider no sacrifice too great, and realize the country and its citizens are counting on them to preserve the American way of life.
Honaker recalled the story of a Vietnam soldier who, despite having his leg severed below the knee, refused to be evacuated and, instead, used a web belt as a tourniquet and jammed the leg into the dirt to curtail the bleeding so he could provide cover for his fellow soldiers.
“All gave some, but some gave all,” Honaker said.
“I thank God that even today, our nation still produces not only the world’s finest citizens, but this planets most noble, dedicated, and fiercest warriors who defend our freedom and keep us safe today,” he added.
Honaker concluded by loaning a “seemingly insignificant lump of stone” to one of the freedom riders to carry to the nation’s capital. He explained that the stone was a piece of the Pentagon he collected while there during the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
“On Sept. 11, 2001, the enemies of America and the American way of life mistakenly thought our resolve as a nation and our military might was defined or determined by the strength of a building,” Honaker said. “While the Pentagon may serve as a symbol or our military’s might … let us not forget that the strength and substance is, an always has been, the solider, sailor, the airman and the marine.