[Originally published at BackwardNC]
You probably know the sentence; it has become somewhat of a cliche. It's often attributed to Voltaire, but apparently actually was penned by his biographer Evelyn Beatrice Hall. It's generally some variation of "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it"
and people like me use it in debates to make a point about freedom and liberty. Cliche or not, it's a powerful sentiment; although European in origin, it expresses a uniquely American thought.
Then there is a special breed of people who don't just say or type those words -- they live them. They enlist in military service, and every single day, they defend -- to the death if necessary -- your and my freedoms. Not because they might happen to agree with our viewpoints, but just because we were fortunate to have been born Americans.