Today we lost a great American, one to whom we all owe a debt of gratitude that can never really be repaid.
Richard Winters served his country, and indeed, the world, leading men in combat while wanting nothing more than to live in peace. Larry Alexander, author of "Biggest Brother", writes:
"Dick Winters is an American success story; a humble man, coming as he did from humble beginnings. Like many of his generation, he went off to war, did his duty in the service of his country, and was one of the lucky ones to come home relatively unscathed. Back in the states, he got a job, found a wonderful woman to share his life, raised two fine children and ran a successful business...an exceptional leader, a good man and my friend."
Damian Lewis, who played Maj. Winters in "Band of Brothers", had this to say about him:
"He treated me like a son and told me that he thought I'd done a pretty good job portraying him, although he was unsure at first! I thought, yup, that's him. Authoritative, nurturing, and honest all at once. I felt immensely proud that I'd had the opportunity to portray this man, a decorated war hero whose story I'd been entrusted with. "
Dick Winters embodies everything that is good and exceptional about our country. All Americans, whatever their political leaning, can find some quality in him that is worthy of emulation. It's fashionable, perhaps, to entertain the notion that people like Richard WInters do not exist anymore, but I disagree. They're still around, and unsurprisingly, still found in the same place: serving their country on the battlefield.
My sincerest respect and admiration for Major Richard Winters, 506 Regiment, 101st Airborne Division, and to all the brave men and women who wear the uniform today. You are all heroes.