Friday, November 11, 2005
what so proudly we held
Red Skelton once said, "God gives us talent. That is His gift to us. When we use it, that is our gift to Him." I have reflected on that saying several times this week. Today is Veteran's Day here in the United States where we remember those who have served in all branches of the armed forces. There are those that we especially commemorate, who gave their lives in the service of our country. Red Skelton's message resonates with me when I think of all who have served. They gave of their gifts to all of us, and some gave their greatest gift of all- their lives.
I come from a family that has several veterans from The American Revolution all through the Vietnam Era. I have close friends who have and are serving in Afghanistanstan and Iraq. This is not something I take lightly.
I don't really care what your view of the military, or wars past and present are. I don't car what you may think of the United States. The simple truth is that freedom exists in a most unique way in the U.S. and it exists in other parts of the world because of freedom loving people around the world who are willing to fight to help others enjoy freedom. That especially includes Americans. No matter what fanatical axe that you have to grind - one thing that has to be clear to all people looking at the history of the world: freedom is precious and has to be defended. If you aren't willing to sacrifice your time or efforts, you still have the rights that everyone else does. That's the beauty of this nation. And we owe a debt of gratitude to those who were willing to serve and sacrifice.
Even if you haven't served- perhaps you can serve you country be serving your fellow man. Be a good citizen: respect others, respect the laws and freedoms of our country. Help your neighbor; see beyond the confines of your our front yard. Think about these things when you vote- and vote according to your conscience and to the belief in what this country represents and does. Don't vote according to how a Hollywood big mouth tells you to, or how some blowhard newscaster thinks you should. Nod at them, smile politely and do the right thing. Think for yourself.
I want to say just one other thing today, and I hope you will follow suit. To the veterans and current members of the armed forces: Thank you. I cherish your sacrifice.
To my father who was in the Air Force: Thank you - your example resides deep within me and I appreciate the time you gave to your country (and to me!)
To my grandfather who was in the Army during World War II and earned a purple heart: Thank you. What you did in defense of our country and of freedom around the world, stands as a testament to what people can do in the service of others.
You were right, Red. You were so right.