Thanks For The FreedomBy
As the 4th of July draws closer and this country is once again swept with a resurgence of patriotism, I find myself wondering at the very complacent attitude that quite a few people, including myself, exhibit during the rest of the year. Now don’t get me wrong, I love this country and all that it stands for and I realize that the other people in it feel the same way. Having said that, I wonder how many of us have ever really taken the time to stop and think about what it means to be free and the people who gave so much in helping us retain that right.
Our freedom is something we exercise every day, but not something most of us think about in a conscientious manner . Simple things, like being able to choose which store you shop at or speaking what’s on your mind, are actually huge freedoms. It is all the “little stuff” that we don’t think of as being something out of the ordinary, when in reality there are many places in the world that people are not allowed to make even such simple choices. It’s heartbreaking and a little scary to think about the fact that freedom, while it is every man, woman and child’s God give right, is never actually free. Freedom is something that is fought for and hard won, paid for in blood and with the lives of those that came before us that had the guts to stand up and say “I have the right to do as I will, and be as I will.”
Something that every American needs to do at least once in their life is visit Arlington National Cemetery. The feelings in that hallowed place are many: Shock, at the number of tombstones, Awe, that these brave men and women would give their lives for their country and it’s people, Gratitude, for the priceless gift that was paid for in blood and valor, Sadness that so very many had to die and Honor that you are a part of a country so great. I was 20 when I saw it for the first time, and it changed everything for me. I felt that I needed to give something back, to somehow try to balance the scale. But then I came to a realization, nothing I could do would accomplish that and further more it was not required. All that was asked of me was my respect and acknowledgment, which I give with all my heart.
I have a huge amount of respect for the United States Military, mostly because I could never do what they have to do on a daily basis. As a mother I understand the willingness to lay down your life for another, for something that you care so deeply about that you are willing to die for it. Would I fight if it were necessary to keep my freedom and that of my family? Yes, without hesitation. Would I be any good at it? No, probably not. Fortunately, for me and everyone else in the country, there are other millions of other American that are willing to use their much better abilities, and so I am free and I remain that way. So to you that have fought for my freedom, I send my everlasting gratitude, for my life and for that of my family.
So this 4th of July weekend while you enjoy the fireworks or time with family and friends, take just a few minutes to consider how you have the freedom to do so. And throughout the year when you see one of the brave members of our military take a second to say thank you. . . . Thank you.