Sir Winston Churchill said,
“All the great things are simple, and many can be expressed in a single word:
freedom; justice; honor; duty; mercy; hope.”
I would like to share a
story that I believe exemplifies what Churchill meant.
Adam Rivero, an investigator
in the State Fire Marshal’s Office, has been an Army reservist for 20 years. He
serves as a staff sergeant with the 320th MP Company from St.
Petersburg. Rivero and his friend, fellow Staff Sgt. Christopher Grilo of the
800th MP Brigade from Uniondale, N.Y., have made it a tradition that
one of them carries a small American flag when they deploy. The flag has been
carried to 13 countries
“I decided to carry a flag
in my wallet to be a constant reminder of who I was and to motivate others by
pulling this flag from my wallet and proudly showing it at times when patriotism
began to diminish,” Rivero said. “I was proud of the fact that I love my
country and being a soldier committed to its defense.”
Each of us has a
responsibility to protect and nurture the freedom that makes our nation
Those who voted last week in
Florida’s Democratic primary carried out their responsibility.
Those who call or write
their legislators to urge a change or support a proposal are carrying out their
Those who take the time to
serve on a jury are fulfilling their responsibility.
Rivero carried a flag.
At only 3 inches by 5
inches, the soldiers wrote the name and date of operations on it — Saudi 91,
Haiti 96, Bosnia 97/98, Salvador 99, Cuba Camp X-ray 2001, Kosovo/Macedonia
2001, Kuwait 2003, Iraq Feb 22, Baghdad May 10.
One of the flag’s last trips
was to the site of the fallen World Trade Center towers.
“Like so many others,”
Rivero said, “Sgt. Grilo and I are common people and I wanted a way to
personally document the impact of military intervention towards the preservation
of freedom and democracy throughout our world, in my lifetime and in the
Rivero is back to
investigating fires for the State Fire Marshal’s Office, and Sgt. Grilo remains
on tour in Iraq. Like looking for clues at fire scenes, Rivero is continuously
looking for ways to support the country he loves.
“It is something that is
precious to me,” Rivero said.
Freedom is precious and should never be taken for granted.