Thursday, November 11, 2010

What Price Freedom...

Today is Veteran's Day.  A day that is celebrated every year on November 11th.  A few year's ago I wrote a piece titled, What Price Freedom.  I'm sharing it again today.

What price freedom?  For most of us, we don't pay a price at all~it's here for the taking!  For the mere pleasure of living a life of freedom of choice, freedom of voice, freedom to live in a peaceful society, freedom to have an education, go to the church choose, support the causes we cherish, the freedom to send our children off to school...knowing that they'll come home.  There is so much we take for granted!  More took for granted than what is appreciated.  I mean really, really appreciated!  At what cost do we have our FREEDOM?  AND, more importantly, whose paid the debt for us?

My thoughts, in the quiet moments of the day, turn to the families who've paid the price for our freedom.  Those whose sons, daughters, husbands and wives, mommies and daddies, nieces and nephews, sisters and brothers, have paid the price...their lives.  As with most things, until something happens "closer to home" one never will have a true understanding of a situation.  And, unless it directly happens to "us", one does not get the full impact of the devastation.  Of course, we can empathize with the family, we can mourn with them, but we never, ever will understand their loss.

*at the time I wrote the original, the following was pertinent at that time.  A few weeks ago, three service men from Iowa lost their lives.  They were not in combat. They were, however, doing what they do every day, every week, every make sure that we~America, are in the ready for any disaster that may occur...that may put our FREEDOM and safety in harms way.  One was a nephew of my son-in-law.  One of our own.  The fact that I was able to put a face with a name and name with a family I know, broke my heart and brought me to tears.  I saw first hand the price they paid...for my FREEDOM and YOURS!  "Brandon" had entered the armed forces post 9-11.  He most assuredly knew he'd be defending our country...and he did.  He served in Iraq for approximately 8 months.  He came home, but passed away during military training at Fort Bragg.

Whether we agree, disagree or are indifferent to the conflict that the United States is involved with today; the ones we've been involved with in the past and will surely be committed to in the future, the mere fact that we can have a view and can voice it, is reason enough for me to honor and praise our young men and women for their commitment to our country.  the defending of it, the willingness to fight for it...for you and me.  With the knowledge that ultimately it could be a cost them and the family loves them so.  Today, in America, they don't have to do it.  They choose to do this.  In many countries, it's still mandatory to give a certain amount of time to the military.

November 11th is designated Veteran's Day.  A day to honor and remember those who have given of themselves to their country and the freedom's we all enjoy.  What can we do to show our appreciation?  I leave that up to you individually to decide.  Maybe you'll do nothing, maybe a note will be sent, maybe a prayer will go out.  We all hear stories from those who served in Nam, Korea and maybe even the World Wars.  How can we honor and acknowledge each of them?  Those involved in the earlier conflicts were enlisted.  The fact that service to our country is "voluntary" today is probably due, in part, to the causes these men and women fought for.

Again I ask...what price freedom?  Well, freedom isn't really free at all, is it?  To those who have served, are serving, thank you.  It's because of you that I can drive or walk down the road and not fear a bullet.  My daughter can attend school along with my son.  I can work a job that I enjoy and make a decent living.  I can go to the church I choose, believe or not believe what I want, spend or save my money how I see fit, feed my family, help those around me and not be persecuted.  I can dress how I like.  I can walk with my head held high and my face uncovered...or covered, if that's what I choose.  I have a say in my household, elect whom I want and so much more.  Do we really have an understanding of what our FREEDOM is all about?  I leave you with that thought. 

And this folks, is the view from my front porch.

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