Saturday, April 07, 2007

The Price of Freedom

While on Michelle Malkin’s blog I found an excerpt of a speech given by President Bush last September. It touched something deep inside me. The President is honoring the lives and service of Navy SEALs Matthew Axelson and Danny Dietz (photo).

"I think of two Navy SEALs named Matthew Axelson and Danny [Dietz]. In June of 2005, they were part of a SEAL team operating deep in the mountains of Afghanistan on a mission to kill or capture a Taliban leader. They were discovered, and they were soon surrounded in a mountain ravine by 30 to 40 Taliban fighters. During the firefight that ensued, Axelson urged an injured teammate to escape, and he provided cover before suffering a mortal wound. Fighting nearby, his partner [Dietz] was also mortally wounded, but he too stood his ground and kept firing until finally, he finally died.

Because of the courage of Petty Officers Axelson and [Dietz], their wounded teammate made it out alive. For their heroism, these two Petty Officers were awarded the Navy Cross. But I want you to hear what Petty Officer [Dietz]'s wife said about her husband and his comrades in arms. She said,
"Danny and his brothers went toward evil and ran forward and gave their last breath."

We live in freedom because of the courage of men like Matthew and Danny. And we will honor their sacrifice by completing the mission. (Applause.) From Afghanistan and Iraq to Africa and Southeast Asia, we are engaged in a struggle against violent extremists -- a struggle which will help determine the destiny of the civilized world. We've borne these responsibilities before, and we have seen our faith in freedom vindicated by history. In this young century, a new generation of Americans is being called to defend liberty -- and once again the cause of liberty and peace will prevail."

In a fierce battle against evil these two brave men, Petty Officers Matthew Axelson and Daniel Dietz sacrificed their lives so that their friends might be set free and live. I aspire to be a man like these men, a man who will run to the battle and not from it. A man who willingly lays down his life so that others my live free. Oh that God would use me to rasie up a generation of men and women with this same passion for freedom!

Oh dear God, put to death in me selfishness and cowardice. Make me to be so much more like Jesus, willing to lay down my life for my friends. Lord have mercy on Matthew and Danny’s families, honor their lives. May we never forget the sacrifice they made so that we might live free, amen.

“Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends”
Jesus ~ (John 15:13)

© Tom Zawacki 2007


  1. Excellent post. What got me was the wife's quote - "Danny and his brothers went toward evil and ran forward and gave their last breath."

  2. Tears in my eyes and heart. Thanks for sharing about such greatness and giving me pause to say a thank you and a prayer for all our troops.

  3. Anonymous6:04 PM

    Wow. Amen. That's intense...

  4. Anonymous1:15 PM

    Oh that I would let the Lord strip me of my cowardness. To truly let go and run with full abandonment in the direction that my God points, caring more for those around me and not looking back to what I am leaving behind.

  5. Anonymous1:16 PM

    Oh that I would let the Lord strip me of my cowardness.

  6. Great post, Tom. I an imaginary friend of your wife. My husband is headed back to Iraq in the next few months. Please keep him in your prayers as we do this deployment thing again with him having LESS than a year home in between.