Recently, all of America came together to "let freedom ring" for the national holiday, Independence Day, which takes place each year on the fourth of July. While this holiday represents the adoption of the Declaration of Independence in 1776 and the freedom our country is fortunate to have that many do not, even since 1776, our country hasn't always been so fortunate.
This year on the fourth, we had family over to our house... It's always nice being surrounded by those we love, especially when our schedules don't always allow us to get together. While watching the fireworks that my dad and boyfriend were shooting off, my great uncle called me over to talk to him. I was expecting some serious talk about my boyfriend, whom he had just met for the first time or even a joke I may or may not understand...but what he had to say to me was quite the opposite. He asked me if I had ever thought about how in the past when our men were off fighting for our country, how they would look into the night sky and see bright flashes of lights…but instead of being fireworks, they were being attacked by bombs which indicated war. This could have been a simple question to just rack my brain a little bit when he asked me this, it really got me to thinking…
WE ARE SO BLESSED
If you disagree with this statement, then I feel so sorry for you. In 1940, the nation's first military draft began…these men had no choice but to sign up for the military and go fight for our country. At the end of the Vietnam War, in 1973, at the end of Nixon's presidency, everything changed just as he had promised. Today and each year since 1973, instead of men being drafted or forced to go off to war, men who are 18 years of age are required only to sign up for the selective service, in case the event of needing more men that are already enlisted takes place. The rest is optional, it is up to men and women themselves if they choose to join the military. Men and women who have served our country and those who serve today are honored greatly, but are they enough? Today, the freedoms we have in our country are truly undeserving. Instead of thanking God for our blessings and freedom he has privileged this nation with...it is always "more more more." These men who sat and watched bombs explode into the sky instead of having the experience of celebrating with their family... I believe they would've happily settled for "less less less" any day.
Imagine if you were a 17-year-old male; next month you turn 18 and you must sign up for the draft. Imagine being forced to leave behind your loved ones, in which you may never return to see again. Imagine thinking you are going to lie down and try to rest then all of a sudden you see the sky light up…and war has begun. Imagine if you never lived to see the end of the war and have the opportunity to celebrate with beautiful red, white, and blue fireworks that light up the entire night sky. Imagine not being able to gather with loved ones and laugh about all the memories you have over the years.
YOU ARE SO BLESSED
Today, our country is in a constant war over beliefs. Whether it may be religion, politics, or money, I swear there is always something to argue about. The debate over whether you should kneel or stand during the National Anthem should have never occurred. You know why? Because those men are BLESSED to even be where they are today. Just half a century ago, there wouldn't have been a choice on whether you kneel or stand…you'd be fighting for our country and on your knees praying to the good Lord you'd make it back home. Now I am not trying to rehash that entire debate here, but if you can spend four quarters tackling grown men and throwing footballs...then I believe you can stand for 3 minutes during the National Anthem and honor those who have fought for our country and made it possible to do half the things we do today.
"Stand for the Flag - Kneel for the Cross"
Next 4th of July, when you look into the sky, gathered with friends and family, be thankful you are watching fireworks shoot up into the sky; celebrating your independence, rather than experiencing bombs exploding into the air; wishing you could be anywhere but there. Be thankful you are alive, well, and are being looked over by a man who gave it all, so we could have it all. I know everyone has their hard times and struggles…if you say you never have, then you must not be human, but remember someone always has it worse. No matter what you believe or who you believe in..one thing I hope we all believe the same is how fortunate we truly are to live in this country. When you think of all the things that have gone wrong in your life; just think of the freedom our beautiful country has been blessed with and how even to this day, while some of us are able to be carefree and enjoy life... there are many who are continuing to hold up that flag and fight for our independence.