Reader's View: On our nation's day, a soldier's words are best

July 4, 2013 

Whether you call it the Fourth of July or Independence Day, it is a day to reflect on our freedom. Instead of bending words into patriotic pretzels, we were blessed with a letter this week that said it better than anything we could come up with.

It is an account from Owen Mink, 82, of Cascade, on the occasion of re-entering U.S. waters in New York on a troop ship with his buddies in 1957.

We'll let him take it from here. . .

In March of 1957, my Army outfit gyroed back from a Europe recovering from WWII via troop ships through the monstrous seas and screaming banshee winds of the North Atlantic.

Entering the tranquil waters of New York Harbor, we passed close to the Statue of Liberty. The noise of hundres of us soldiers on deck became muted and subdued, giving referential deference to our Lady of Liberty. There was a most powerful feeling of thankfulness felt by all to be touching shore again in our homeland of America, free from the mental and physical devastation left behind us in Europe!

Most of us soldiers never saw Lady Liberty again. But the memory and feeling seeing her from the deck of an incoming troop ship is reborn each Fourth of July with gratitude for America.

Owen Mink

Cascade, ID

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