Out of Many, One


E Pluribus Unum. Out of many, one.

More than any other citizen, the soldier makes our country’s motto true.

My husband retired from the US Army after 30 years. Life in the Army, like any life, has ups and downs to it - the main difference being this: when your spouse is on a business trip they are often deployed to hostile ground and risking their very lives. As the spouse of a soldier, you have to find a way to wrap your mind and your heart around that, you have to find a way to tell and teach your children about that.

For myself, in situations I am unfamiliar with, I tend to check out every book in the library to find out the why, the “how-others-do-it”. My search led to certain truths I could lean on. I want to share those with you on this Veteran’s Day, as I join you in honoring our military.

My solace came from reading the oath that soldiers take when they join the military.

The first part of the oath is to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic…to bear true faith and allegiance to the same.

It is not an oath to defend a piece of ground or a particular person or persons. The commitment applies to all enemies against the Constitution of the United States. Allegiance is to the Constitution that defines our country. I find so much comfort in that.

They swear to obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over them, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. I find comfort in that, too. Our highest leaders have a Code of Justice by which they are required to lead. I really hadn’t ever thought about that, thirty years ago. When you wave goodbye to the person you love as they board a plane for someplace scary, it is very comforting to know military decisions are not random, in fact they are important enough to have their own code.

Soldiers end their oath with So Help Me God. This is not a statement of personal belief, it is a confession that only something greater than humans can provide the courage and strength to defend the Constitution of the United States. It is a confession of humility.

On Veteran’s Day, and in truth every day, I grieve for the families who have lost their soldiers. I grieve for young spouses who are only just learning how to send their loved ones off to war. I grieve for the children who cannot yet understand the sacrifice made. But mostly, I cry because I am so thankful that someone would do that for me, that someone had the strength and the humility to serve countless people they haven’t met, but who are countrymen under the strong cover of the Constitution of the United States. They make true our motto.

E Pluribus Unum. Out of many, one.

Click on any image below to view enlarged photos & descriptions in a slideshow.

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The Plainsman Museum 2020   ~  210 16th Street ~ Aurora NE ~ 402-694-6531 ~ plainsman@hamilton.net

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