I’ve been contemplating freedom today as we remember those who gave their lives serving our country in the Armed Forces. Both of my sons are AFJROTC members at their high school. The thought of them someday going into battle as full time airmen scares me. But the thought of where this country would be without the sacrifice of those who have gone before scares me as well.
My younger son, Nathan, and I were talking about how the Americans stole the tune to Britain’s national anthem, “God Save the Queen.”
O Lord our God arise
Scatter her enemies
And make them fall
Confound their politics
Frustrate their knavish tricks
On Thee our hopes we fix
God save us all
My country ’tis of thee
Sweet land of liberty
Of thee I sing.
Land where my father’s died
Land of the Pilgrim’s pride
From every mountainside
Let freedom ring
The people who founded our country were looking for freedom in a new world; a place where they could freely practice their religion without fear. The tyrannical government they were fleeing wanted none of that. The battles fought in the Revolutionary War bought our freedom from a country that wanted to keep us under its thumb.
There are many people who think that we should not engage an enemy that has not come upon our shores to threaten us. But I am not of that frame of mind. I think an enemy of freedom wherever it is found is our enemy. Freedom does not just belong to Americans. Everyone deserves the chance to worship as they choose, to say what they will—be it stupid or not, to have choices. Yes, that freedom comes at a price. It always has. It always will.
I’m proud of our soldiers. They understand the price. They have seen the devastation bondage causes. They have witnessed the joy freedom brings.
Justin, my eldest, will one day soon be one of those soldiers as his desire is to serve his country in the United States Air Force. I support him wholeheartedly. To every serviceman or woman I personally encounter I say, “Thank you for your service.” To those who live under tyrannical governments, who have no freedom and who live in fear every day I say from afar, “Don’t give up hope. Be strong. I pray you are not abandoned by those who would leave you to suffer alone, just because you’re not American.”
I promise you, that will never be me.