Mr. Speaker, one week from today is Christmas, and on Christmas in 1776, Americans were at war for freedom. General Washington and his colonials crossed the Delaware River into New Jersey and defeated the British who were caught celebrating.

This Christmas Americans are at war for freedom in lands far, far away. They, like Washington's men, will not be home for Christmas.

The price of freedom is eternal vigilance, they say. The price is also counted in the cost of human sacrifice. Our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan that will never return for another Christmas gave their lives for the same ideas that Washington's men gave their lives for. We call it freedom. Mr. Speaker, you notice I say gave their lives, not lost their lives, because their lives were voluntarily sacrificed on the altar of liberty.

In the War of Independence, 4,600 Americans died, and in all wars for freedom, over 1.5 million Americans have died. They gave their youth for freedom's future. So, as the church bells ring this Sunday before Christmas, let us be reminded of the ring of the Liberty Bell that tolls the words: ``Let freedom ring throughout the land.''

That's just the way it is.