From James Nivens of Winston-Salem:
Seventy-one years ago, my grandfather ran toward opposing gunfire to fulfill his duty. He is special to me in many ways and for many reasons, but in that act alone he is not special. There are millions of others who have done, and will do, the same. No matter their reasons, they responded when called upon.
War is an evil, and I find myself in a camp that believes it to be a necessary one. The unnecessary evils of war are more often committed behind the barrier those holding the front lines provide. There are men and women who will risk their ability to enjoy the safety, values, and families they are fighting for, to ensure all those things live on; long after they are gone. I believe there will always be people like this. These are not pawns, these men and women comprise the Queen on the board.
This Veterans Day let us recognize them for the commitment and bravery in their acceptance of a dark duty. At the same time let us recognize our own duty to guarantee the goals accomplished through these sacrifices are ones that promote a society worth introducing to the next generation.
There are those who will fight when the need arises.
It is on all of us to guarantee their fights are few, and righteous.
Harry Nivens is 94 years old now. He was born and raised in Charlotte. He was in the 101st Airborne during the Normandy invasion. He is my hero as much as he is my granddad. He has shown me that I don't have to be flawless to be a good man, and that an assembly of enough good men can change the world.