I was a Memorial Guard for the Traveling Wall display many years ago, and that left an indelible impression on me as a young Airman. My idea of Patriotism and true sacrifice was forever changed after that.

"Let Freedom Ring"

Let Freedom ring a resounding knell, a sound that reaches into the depths of our soul. Though the tone may waver the further we stray, it's sound should always be heard.

It's chime is to an ear ageless, over the rustling whisper of a Grandmother in Moscow casting her first ballot, to the clatter and din of Youth in T'ienanmen Square, it can still be heard; Heard above the chaotic chorus of bigotry, inhumanity and injustice, to join us together as a single melodic voice.

How many restless souls have longed to hear the beautiful melody of Freedom that We, as Americans, have become accustomed? I awake ever thankful for the symphony of Freedom that serves as a soundtrack to our lives. Upon drifting asleep, I ponder the fate of people, all palorand hue, attune to it's chord, hoping to join in that wonderful noise.

But let us take for granted that wonderful noise-- just once--to have it silenced forever.

Throngs of Men and Women have trudged valiantly into battle to insure the resonant sound of Freedom would not be stifled. How many Warriors, flooded with the exuberance of youth, and the deafening sound of freedom pounding in their ears have charged into combat, only to have the faint calling of angels as their final chorale song?

What the fate of Heroes, names long since clouded with time, forgotten by all but a few, may be still sorrowfully lamenting at the loss of that wonderous sound; replaced by only by the painful shriek of imprisonment and torture? I do not forget.

I proudly proclaim myself Comrade-in-Arms to those fallen, forgotten Heroes, vowing to give my life for the sake of that glorious sound. We who have willingly sacrificed of ourselves, our loved ones and the comforts of home, will insure the rhapsody of freedom will never reach a final note.

For the sake of all who will follow, let Freedom ring.

TSgt. Kurt Melander
United States Air Force

copyright © 1995, by Kurt A. Melander, all rights reserved

You can contact Kurt at: kurtmel@panacom.com

His website/homepage is: http://www.geocities.com/Area51/Vault/7832/