Editorial: Service members fighting for a larger purpose

Staff Writer
Mount Shasta Herald

Freedom is a basic human right all people are entitled to, but not all receive. Everyone deserves to live a life free from tyranny, oppression and persecution, but too few throughout human history have been guaranteed the right to live their own lives without the threat of interference from those more powerful.

Freedom is a privilege enjoyed by all Americans, but it is not free. It has come at a very high cost. It is an ideal that early Americans battled to attain and generations of their descendants sacrificed so much to defend. Too many knew they may have to make the ultimate sacrifice, yet they willingly marched into battle knowing they were fighting for something larger than themselves and that, ultimately, their sacrifice would allow their fellow countrymen to live in relative peace and harmony.

Tyler Trahan understood that. “I want to go and fight for the freedom I enjoyed growing up.”

With those words, the Freetown, Mass., resident — only two years out of high school — headed off to basic training in 2006. With the country embroiled in two foreign wars, Trahan had to know he was putting himself in harm’s way, but he selflessly, courageously volunteered himself for service in the U.S. Navy anyway. Like his father and grandfather before him, Trahan risked his own safety and security to defend his country and the ideals America stands for.

Sadly, on Thursday, Trahan paid the ultimate price for freedom. The explosive ordnance disposalman working with a Navy Seal team was attempting to disarm a bomb in Iraq when it detonated. Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Tyler Trahan — son, grandson, Top 10 student and former star quarterback at Old Colony Regional Vocational Technical High School — died in the battlefield in Iraq defending the freedom and American way of life he and his family so clearly cherished. He was 22.

The entire community is mourning the loss of a great man taken from this Earth too soon. Flags throughout Freetown are flying at half-staff as members of the community share their memories and appreciation of a life cut short. “Freetown lost one of its sons. We are all in pain and feel so sorry for the family and the grief they must be going through,” said Selectman Lawrence Ashley. “We will help the family as much as we possibly can and then some.”

We would like to extend its heartfelt gratitude to Tyler Trahan and his family for their commitment to this country and all it represents. While no words can possibly ease the pain of their loss, we hope Trahan’s family can take some comfort in the knowledge that Tyler did not die in vain. His sacrifice helps make our way of life possible and his memory will live on as long as Americans live on in freedom.

The Herald News