Our Freedoms: Thank a Vet This Thanksgiving

Nov 20, 2020 | Allen A. Ritchie

Attorney Allen Ritchie with Dad

Veteran Dr. Win (Doc) Ritchie and son Allen during Honor Flight in 2013


This year, you may think there is little to be thankful for with rough elections, a pandemic, and storms. But that is not true.

The other day I heard a young man interviewed, and what he said touched my heart — and yes, it does have a bit to do with the law.

This soldier said he signed up to defend the Constitution – not to support a political party, a person, or even the idea of home. It took me back. With all the disagreements we have experienced this year, this is the one legal document that unites us all.

I am so thankful for that piece of paper and to the men and women that have offered their lives to make sure its principles continue to this day.

In my early years, I did not plan for a life in the law but instead in the military. My father had served in WWII, and ours was a very patriotic home. For Dad, he saw his service as a defense of our freedoms – the freedoms guaranteed in the Constitution.

He went on to a civilian career but never stopped being proud that he had done his part, and he was so proud to call himself a veteran.

This brings me to a moment when he was 88 years old. We went on the Honor Flight to Washington, D.C., with several other Mobile area veterans. This was perhaps their last chance to see the monuments created to honor them and to visit the cemetery at Arlington, where so many of their fellow servicemen and servicewomen are buried. At the Changing of the Guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, these aged men struggled to stand and salute their fallen brothers and sisters. This was no abstraction for them. They could see the faces of their lost friends and comrades, those who fought with them but did not return. Though not mentioned, just across the Potomac River was the actual document they had so boldly fought to defend.

Now, most of the men on that flight are gone. But the Constitution remains. If you have nothing else to be thankful for this Thanksgiving, be thankful you live where your freedoms are assured.

As to the veterans, it is not an exaggeration that we live in a country that their sacrifices created. This holiday, I suggest you say thank you when you call your relatives who have served — and perhaps in your Thanksgiving prayer, a mention of those no longer with us.

Allen Ritchie

AL Personal Injury Attorney

If you need legal help, you can reach us at the law firm of Eiland & Ritchie here in Mobile. There is never any money out of your pocket. And thank you for joining us Sunday nights on NBC 15 LawCall. We will be back to our regular call-in format after the first of the year.