CADILLAC — The United States is the land of the free because of the brave.
That was a sentiment Cadillac High School student Alex Netzley repeated during his speech at the school’s 50th Veterans Day Assembly Monday morning. He spoke to the audience about the sacrifices his grandfather and other veterans have made.
“All Americans, all citizens of the United States, myself included, enjoy the freedoms of our amazing nation,” he said. “However, Americans are not simply gifted these freedoms. Millions of great men and women offered up their lives, their lives, to protect our country and defend our freedoms.”
Netzley’s grandfather, a World War II veteran, passed away about three weeks before the assembly.
The student said his grandfather dropped out of high school when he was 17 to join the Navy and served three years on the Pacific Ocean.
After the war ended, he came home, “having experienced the most horrific years of his life.”
“However, despite all his hardships, he was one of the lucky ones,” Netzley said. “Unlike so many others, he returned alive.
“While I am grateful my grandfather made it back alive, I, as all of us are, am eternally indebted to those who did not. The United States is the land of the free because of the brave.”