Tag Archive | Memorial Day

Let Freedom Ring

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.”

From:

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

we get:

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.

IMG_2877Justin, 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.

In Memory Of Those We’ve Lost

american-flag

Because I believe that freedom is not primarily for the privileged, but for the oppressed, and because I believe that the strong are obligated to take up the cause of the weak, and because I believe that those whose voice has not been silenced are duty bound to speak for those who have no say, I will fly my flag proudly today and say thank you to those who have given their lives not only to protect America, but to fight for freedom all over the world.

God Bless America

Today is Memorial Day. Unlike Veteran’s Day, which is set aside to honor those who have served our country in military service, Memorial Day is to remember those who have actually paid the ultimate sacrifice: They lost their lives in the service of their country. Neither my dad nor my brother ever served in the military, but my grandfather did. He earned a Purple Heart for being injured in the Battle of the Argonne Forest in WWI. I also had a great-uncle I never got to meet because he died in WWII. And my uncle is a WWII vet. My father-in-law is a veteran. David’s grandfather was a veteran. My pastor’s son is an active-duty marine.

We are touched every day by those in the military service. But not all of us have experienced the death of a loved one because of it. My eldest child has aspirations of being a fighter pilot in the Air Force. I fully support him in that effort, but the idea of him actually flying in war scares me to death. He thinks it sounds exciting and adventurous. I only picture his handsome, youthful body being blown to bits. Would I hold him back? Not in a million years. Even if at this moment, his idea is not that of protecting freedom but simply doing what he loves, I think his goal is honorable.

Some people deride our military and our leaders by saying they have callously sent young men off to fight needless battles in foreign countries. I picture this:

Say you were out watering your lawn one warm summer afternoon, living the high life, loving your freedom, when all of a sudden you hear a scream from the house next door. What in the world is going on over there?  you might wonder. You might even look closer to see what was happening. You might see a husband beating his wife and children. You would be shocked, or maybe even annoyed that this drama is playing out next to your quiet yard.

But, you may think, that’s their problem. Let them take care of it. It’s not on my property they’re having this trouble. 

Really? Wouldn’t you call the police and report a case of domestic violence? If you saw someone threatening a young child with a gun, wouldn’t you do something about it, even if it wasn’t your own family? Or is your motto “don’t get involved”?

That’s how I pictured the situation in Iraq years ago. The people were being beaten down, killed, evilly oppressed by Sadam Hussein. It was not right for us to just sit by and do nothing. When people can’t fight for themselves, we have a moral obligation to fight for them. Proverbs 31:8 says, “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves; ensure justice for those being crushed” (New Living Translation.)

Do our leaders always make the right decisions? No. Is war a terrible thing? Yes. Is it necessary to battle evil? Absolutely. I’m no war monger. Ask my boys. I hate guns and fighting and weapons of all kinds. But do I believe the oppressed need to be fought for? Yes.

Thank you, all you who have sent loved ones off to their deaths in the service of our country, to help ensure freedom everywhere, not just on American soil. I’m so sorry for your loss.

God bless America.

Thankful today for:

321. All our military personnel: past, present and future

322. A day to remember those who have died in service to their country

323. Finally being able to use my massage coupon from my sisters

324. Friends coming over this afternoon

325. Only a bit of wind from Beryl (as of yet)

326. The testimony of a family I don’t even know during the hard-fought battle of their infant son. He lost the battle yesterday and is now in the arms of Jesus.