I am thankful to be an American! People have made great sacrifices to come to America where they could live and worship freely. They have had to sell all they own. They have had to leave a familiar land rich with their heritage and nationality. Many times they left beloved friends and family… never to see them again in this life.
I have never had to make these sacrifices. I am blessed beyond comprehension.
I have seen the horror of war in movies and read history books in school of the many people who experienced the loss of their loved ones fighting for our freedom.
I have never had to make these sacrifices.
And, yet, brave men and women in my home town never intended to make such sacrifices either. But it came with the territory. Just a year out of high school, one of my fellow classmates, Jon Edwards, lost his life on a training mission in Japan while in the Marines. Jim Click, an elderly gentleman who has frequented our home as a ministering Home Teacher, was awarded a Purple Heart for being wounded with a machine gun while in the Korean War. Although he’s still alive, his lifestyle and body was forever changed. We even had a World War II Prisoner of War, Jay Miller, who grew up in our small town. Why is it that we sometimes don’t connect with the feeling of loss or sacrifice until it finally hits close to home?
My own father gave up a year of his life serving our country in the Korean War. I am thankful he wasn’t hurt and came home safe. His example and the lessons he learned there have blessed our family ever since.
I will always remember the shock of 9/11 as the news aired a series of terrorist attacks by the Islamic terrorist group al-Qaeda on the United States on the morning of September 11, 2001. The attacks killed close to 3000 people. Each terrorist attack since then, has been painful and upsetting. Real people’s lives, and those of their family and friends, are forever changed.
I am very glad I know them and of their sacrifices. I hold them in high regard. I have never had to sacrifice for this great privilege. It has been mine since birth.
I have been taught The Pledge of Allegiance since First Grade. I know how to show reverence whenever the flag is raised. I have fond remembrances as a high school cheerleader, standing with my hand over my heart, listening to the National Anthem before every school assembly or sports match. But slowly as I have grown older, and perhaps wiser, I have come to feel a swelling within my heart whenever I see the flag. It’s not just a physical representation of our freedom. It’s a sacred vow within my own heart to not let the sacrifice of victims and veterans to have been in vain. But to remember whenever I see a flag of how very blessed I am to be an American!