Voice: Americans sacrificed lives to protect even stupid opinions

July 19, 2001

Isn't it great to drive around your community, picking up the last few items necessary for the celebration our country's 225th year of declared independence and observing the unusual number of flags commemorating such a glorious event; that feeling of being independent to pursue your dreams, to have a vocation of your choosing, on this day to be independent to celebrate wherever, however, whoever your wish to celebrate with, etc?

As I see these flags flying in the hot breeze, I try not to think of the person (who shall remain unnamed for obvious reasons) who wrote to this newspaper about being tired of reading about our veterans around Memorial Day. These flags bring to mind those veterans who made it possible for our country to achieve and be able to keep its independence.

Those veterans through their choice or by being drafted have assured this continued independence for our country. To those close and dear to me: My uncle Jose Espinoza "Blue Bird, who was wounded while parachuting in Europe and held as a prisoner of war.


Some of my earliest memories are of an uncle who I had not seen until we met him at the Greyhound depot. He was returning from taking part in World War II.

I remember this demented but nice person with a limp who whenever he heard an airplane would grab a broom handle or a mop, run and take cover under a table or a bed. After a few years he walked off and we never saw him again. Today, I wish I could hug and thank him. I later realized what made him act in the manner in which he did.

My brother Roberto T. Cosio during the Korean War was advised by some to go to Mexico to avoid the draft. I remember the letters of optimism he wrote to my father and the pictures of him and fellow soldiers in the frozen mountains of Korea; my brother Israel T. Cosio, who left college to join the Air Force; during Vietnam, my brother Alberto Cosio served in the Marines as did my closest friend, Bill Harvey, who luckily is only scarred up; during the Gulf War my nephews Alberto Cosio Jr. served with Marines in Bahrain and Johnny Cornejo served with the Army and is now in Korea; my brothers Roy, Richard and Edward served in the Army during the ‘70s as I did in the Marines, during the ‘60s, during peacetime. For their sacrifices I would like to thank them.

The purpose for serving was, in part, so "Tired of Hearing" and others could be independent to express their opinion and be able to continue to celebrate this day.

So, "Tired of Hearing," I hope the next time you make an important choice, celebrate something or write a letter to the editor, you can remember that during the Revolutionary War more than 25,000 Americans died. During World War I more than 110,000 Americans lost their lives. In World War II more than 400,000 Americans lost their lives. In the Korean War more than 50,000 American men and women were killed. And during Vietnam more than 55,000 Americans died in order that we may freely dream and be independent.

Wouldn't it be nice if it did not take that enormous loss of lives to allow us the freedom to express our opinions in matter such as writing a letter to the editor in a free press? This is possible because of the veterans!


El Centro

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