Itís the Fourth of July. Time to get out the grills and coolers, call your friends and family, eat till are about to explode and watch huge explosions in the air with a ďohĒ and a ďah.Ē Itís that time of year when ďpatrioticĒ Americans wear a funny hat or put out the flag and go to the parade and get beads tossed at their heads.
We are bombarded with the images of Washington and Lincoln and maybe JFK or FDR. Television stations are broadcasting that you should have a safe holiday weekend. Some people will call it celebrating when they get too drunk and pass out while they let the baked beans spill on their American flag T-shirt.
Except with the stained shirt incident, all of these activities are fine. We should celebrate this time of year. Itís a miracle that we still can, (Iím talking to you Liberals now). Friends and families should gather and enjoy their company. You donít need a special occasion for it, but if thatís what it takes, so be it.
Hereís a straight question; when was the last time you actually thought about what it costs to have your little cookout? When was the last time you considered the price of the parade? When was the last time you even bothered to remember the true meaning of this celebration? Take a minute to recall, and then go to the next paragraph.
July Fourth, 1776, was a day that changed the entire world. On that day, the greatest nation that ever arose was formed. It was the banded allegiance of 55 men who could no longer tolerate the tyranny of English rule. These men choose to take the path of conflict, be it armed or otherwise, for life liberty and the pursuit of happiness. They created and signed a collection of ideas that would alter the fate of history to this day. The Declaration of Independence was not a secret pact that they decided on. They sent that document to the King of England as an announcement that this group of colonies was not to be ruled by the English anymore.
In this document were cited twenty-seven Biblical violations. Yes. I said Biblical. The Founding Fathers, though not all Christian, still respected the Word of God and believed that God would be needed to form this nation. Not founded as a Christian nation? You have not been doing your homework.
This, of course, was not accepted by the British, who were making a pretty shilling off of the Americas. The saw the colonies as being owned, not as men yearning to be free. They sent troops to enforce their will, and to retake the colonies by force. The men that signed the Declaration would be hunted down for the remainder of their lives. Most were slaughtered without a thought, yet they still held to the belief that what they did was right before God.
War ensued, and the first blood was spilled on this soil. Men of courage and nerve defended this land. The years and battles passed, and the British were left with nothing but their troops being escorted back to England.
We have fought many battles since. Some for the right reasons. Others even I have a hard time justifying. Politicians come and go. Their political ideas arise and fade with each new term. However, the one thing that does not change, no matter the sitting President, is that brave men and women are still required to defend this country and to fight for the right to be free.
We have not always fought for our own freedom, and there have been those that said we should let others fight their wars and not get our men killed for the cause of others who will probably turn on us at their convenience. See France. Another straight question; would Hitler have stopped at Europe? Sure, like when he said he was done at Poland, Austria, Bavaria, etc. Was Osama going to stop at the World Trade centers? Not unless his commandment to kill all infidels had a numeric ceiling. He would have capitalized on our weak moment and began to plan the next major attack. Hereís a clue; he already has. Itís kind of difficult to execute while heís hiding in a cave in Iran. Yes, thatís where I think he is, but weíll do that later.
My point is this; Soldiers are a requirement to preserve the peace in any country. Soldiers with the will to serve their country and to fight the enemy on any battlefield and ensure that we are safely tucked in under the blanket of freedom that they provide. The soldier is responsible for the freedom you have. The lives given and the blood spilled over the last 250 years have given you the privilege of being able to spend your time as you see fit without fear or threat of persecution from any government or foreign power.
Yes, the blood they spilled has given you that right. The lives they gave in battle have given the freedom that you have become so accustomed to abusing. The graves we have dug for those lost in battle are innumerable. They stretch to other countries and are vast. Standing in the middle of one of these gardens of stone will steal your breath. It is inconceivable to count the markers, but the site of just one stone cross will cause reflection on the attitude that you possess, and I have seen four of these gardens.
Before you take another bite of that burger, think about the real cost of this holiday. Remember that we are a nation built on the lives of brave soldiers in multiple time frames in history who thought more of the freedom of others than that of their own. Remember that when you see a soldier walking in the mall. Remember that when you see a soldier on TV. Remember, you have your freedom because they were willing to give up theirs. They believed in this country and for what it stands for. We are the land of the free and home of the brave, and we owe that to our soldiers. Remember that, and be thankful for it. It wasnít always so. Pray that it never goes back.
BRAVO Mark! Thank you so much for reminding us of, "The Price of This Holiday." It is something that we should NEVER forget. America has fulfilled the greatest love of all that Christ commanded. She has done this by laying down the lives of her son's, for not only our own freedom, but also for the freedom of others. God bless our troops! Amen!