There are people who live with preferences, those who are willing to compromise their beliefs if it makes things easier.
And there are people with conviction, those who won't give up and are willing to die for what they believe in — basic American rights like freedom, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
The men and women who serve in the U.S. Armed Forces, along with law enforcement officers and emergency workers, are those with conviction and those who deserve appreciation and respect, not just on Veterans Day, but on every day.
That's the message Todd County Sheriff's Office Chaplain Dave Greaver shared at the Osakis Veterans Day Program at the Osakis High School Auditorium Monday.
Greaver quoted American patriots and presidents throughout his address — from Patrick Henry and Nathan Hale to Abraham Lincoln, JFK and Ronald Reagan.
Greaver also talked about the 56 men who signed the U.S. Constitution. They were men of education and affluence, he said, but after signing the document, they put their lives at risk. Many lost their homes and businesses. Some were captured, tortured and killed by the British. Most died in poverty.
"They are the ones who gave you and me a free, independent America," Greaver said. "Freedom is never free."
Greaver said that patriotism is not a sin. It's a way to reflect on what freedom really costs and a way to give thanks to those who gave so much.
Americans can look at their responsibilities as citizens in one of two ways, Greaver said. They can view it as being on board a cruise ship, having a carefree, relaxing time when all their needs are met and they have no responsibilities. Or they can view as a battleship, where everyone is vigilant and ready to battle, and depending on the rest of the crew to get the job done.
Being on the battleship, Greaver said, comes with sacrifice, suffering, hunger and loss but the rewards are worth it. "The greater the loss, the sweeter the victory," he said.
America, Greaver, said, has plenty of celebrities and sports stars but not enough heroes, such as the men and women who serve in the military. "The fiber of freedom is stronger today because of their sacrifices."
Monday's program also included:
Opening ceremony by Lee Christopherson, commander of the Osakis VFW Post 7902.
Invocation by Chaplain Greaver.
Advancing of the colors.
"The Star Spangled Banner," featuring the high school choir directed by Nicole Mattfield and the concert band directed by Randy Resley.
Pledge of Allegiance led by Judy Jensen, VFW Auxiliary president.
"America the Beautiful" by the high school choir.
We Remember Poppies by Kathy Fystrom.
Folding of the Flag by Rob Matheny and John Pallow.
Voice of Democracy and Patriots' Pen award winners announced by Ginny Earl.
"Battle Hymn Epic" by the concert band.
Veterans Day video presented by Stan Moore.
Veterans Day message by Chaplain Greaver.
Closing prayer by Chaplain Greaver.
"Taps" by Resley and Carter Grove.
Retiring of the Colors by Osakis VFW Post 7902.