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God, Bless America!

October 1, 2011

 

     My husband and I stopped today to visit the Vietnam War traveling memorial.  The wind was blowing and it was shockingly cold for September, but the incredible warmth I felt inside helped me to stay and linger among the names of heros.

     In addition to the Vietnam memorial there were also tributes to all those who had served our country and perished doing so.  There were gold name plates for each soldier killed since the beginning of Operation Desert Storm.  I was surprised there were so many.  There were also tributes for all those who had perished in all of the 9-11 attacks and all military events since the Korean War.

     They had two photo walls of  WWII and the Korean War.  I was extremely cold, but put away thoughts of my own comfort as I looked at photos of Holocaust Jews.

     The one overwhelming thought that brought a huge lump in my throat as looked at the countless names listed on the long black wall was, the number of families affected by that war.  I thought of every family that suffered loss and it was very sobering and emotional.  There were flowers laid sporadically at the base of the monument, laid there to honor a long lost family member or friend.  Someone had written a poem and laid it at the base of the wall.

     There was also a Hewey helicopter there to look at.  A woman taking photos spoke up and said, “My husband was a medic on one of these.  He fell from one and broke his back.”  I asked her if he was here to see the memorial and she said, “He died two years ago, finally from the results from that war.”  I told her how sorry I was for her loss and held back my tears.

     The area where the wall was displayed was along the main highway that runs through our town.  The traffic was heavy.  Many people were rushing to their destinations.  I’m sure many wished they had the time to stop.  Others were probably unaware of what we were looking at.  I am sure there was at least one ex-hippie who fought against the Vietnam war, who now drove past the memorial with conflicting feelings.

     I home school my children.  I attend the church of my choice.  My husband owns his own company.  I vote in elections and plan my day each day as I see fit.  I write this blog and am free to say what my heart dictates.  I have these freedoms because of those names.

     Today, in the midst of your busyness take a moment and remember those who paid the ultimate price. You may feel that you are so busy you don’t even have time to think, but you are busy because you have made choices.  The choices you made were available to you because of someone else’s sacrifice.  

     First and foremost, Jesus paid the price for all of mankind.  He died for all of our sins.  He died so that whoever believes in him will not perish. He came to set the captives free from sin, death and all emotional, mental and physical prisons.  Then there are those men and women throughout time who have died preserving our freedoms, men and women since the beginning of time, Israelites, Europeans and early Americans.

     Today I thank God for my freedoms.  I thank God for the men and women who paid a price I do not have to pay.  I thank God for the freedom I have in Him and I thank God for America. 

     Let each of us remember the price paid and know that there are prices that still must be paid to retain the country we love.  Do not drive by, too busy to stop.  Our nation and freedoms must be preserved. Most likely death will not be required of you, but find out what is.  Our nation needs us to awaken, to slow down and to come to her aid as so many have done before.

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