Never in the history of the world has any soldier sacrificed more for the freedom and liberty of total strangers than the American soldier. And, our soldiers don't just give freedom abroad, they preserve it for us here at home.
For it has been said so truthfully that it is the soldier, not the reporter, who has given us the freedom of the press. It is the soldier, not the poet, who has given us freedom of speech.
It is the soldier, not the agitator, who has given us the freedom to protest.
It is the soldier who salutes the flag, serves beneath the flag, whose coffin is draped by the flag, who gives that protester the freedom to abuse and burn that flag.
101st Airborne re-enactors take a cruise a working LCVP.
If you're ever in Carentan, France and if it's out for it's little educational rides, do visit Challenge LCVP's PA20-4. Its a full restored World War II Higgins Boat, like the 1,100 that landed troops on D-Day on the nearby coast. (Carentan itself was liberated by the 101st Airborne) She was found as a wreck in an English river and combined with another broken Higgins Boat, it was rebuilt and restored to it's wartime appearance. One of the boat's histories is unknown, but the other is known to have landed Allied troops in North Africa. She was given the designation PA 30-4 in honor of a Higgins Boat that served on D-Day and landed troops on Omaha Beach.
The tour itself is just a little 30 minute trip up and down the canal, but as you do so, one of the volunteers tells the story of the Hggins Boats in French. I don't know French but it was great just riding on it, feeling the rumble of its engine and imagining what this what have felt like coming in under fire. It's mostly made of marine plywood except for that big bow ramp in the front. It sounds bad, but it beats the alternative of troops dropping off the sides and into the water.