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Oh America

We have loved walking and riding through our neighborhood this May and noticing home after home proudly displaying an American flag.  Truthfully, it seems like there are many more hanging this year than previous years.

I remember when the United States was attacked on 9-11 and all the flags that were put out in front of people’s homes.  It seemed like there was barely a home without a flag!!  The feeling of patriotism and respect for America was bold!

Yet as the years have passed since 9-11 there seems to be a growing disdain for America.  And friends, although we don’t agree with all that America has done, and we are actually ashamed of some parts of our history,  we still live in one of the greatest countries in the world.  I was trying to think these last few weeks of a “perfect” country with a “flawless” past and was unable.

I readily admit I have not been to many other countries, however I can definitely say that the ones I have been to are far different and I’m really thankful I’m an American.

Personally we are foremost grateful for the freedom to worship corporately our Savior Jesus Christ.  We are free to own as many Bibles as we want!  We are free to homeschool, but should we decide tomorrow to put our kids in a private or Christian school, we are free to do that as well.  We are free to move about our country and visit other states without any permission needed.  We are free to travel our well-cared for highways.  We are free to buy whatever food from whatever store we would like.  We are free to shop for clothes and other necessities whenever we would like – some are even open all night long!

We have medical care that is one of the most advanced in all the world.  We have police officers, sheriffs, deputies and other forms of law enforcement who daily protect the citizens of our country.  Being honest, I’m frankly sick of people who trash-talk our law enforcement. No doubt, there are some evil law enforcement officers but check out the news and find that there are evil people in all walks of life – including the entertainment industry, medical profession, clergy, sports, judicial system, teachers, professors, etc.

So let it be known this military family is patriotic and we love the red, white and blue that hangs outside our home and the freedom it represents.

Today, Memorial Day, we pause to remember and pray for our military families who have given the ultimate sacrifice.

Once upon a time, many years ago, during our son’s first deployment someone quipped, “It will get easier.”  They didn’t have a clue what they were talking about – because it definitely hasn’t.  In fact Dw and I looked at each other as the 9th deployment was approaching and whispered, “This is the hardest one yet.”

We’ve held our breath at times as we’ve waited for news, we’ve fasted lots, even praying through the night – always knowing in the back of our mind, that life is fragile and could change in seconds.  Always cognizant that any time together as a family is oh-so-precious and each phone call is savored as well as each text treasured.

Today, families around the United States are missing their loved ones who are currently deployed while others are visiting cemeteries in honor of the ones they’ve lost.

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Tommy.  Photo: Courtesy of US Military

Dw and I prayed this morning for our military and those families who have lost loved ones.  We particularly remember our son’s friend Tommy.  They were close friends, valiant soldiers and then a few deployments ago, Tommy gave the ultimate sacrifice.  He left behind a wife and young son.

Enjoy a picnic, the company of friends and family, but remember the true meaning behind this Memorial Day and pray for those who have lost loved ones while thanking the Lord for the freedom you have the privilege of living in.  Freedom isn’t free.

 

America the Beautiful

O beautiful for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain!
America! America!
God shed His grace on thee
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!

O beautiful for pilgrim feet,
Whose stern, impassioned stress
A thoroughfare for freedom beat
Across the wilderness!
America! America!
God mend thine every flaw,
Confirm thy soul in self-control,
Thy liberty in law!

O beautiful for heroes proved
In liberating strife,
Who more than self their country loved
And mercy more than life!
America! America!
May God thy gold refine,
Till all success be nobleness,
And every gain divine!

O beautiful for patriot dream
That sees beyond the years
Thine alabaster cities gleam
Undimmed by human tears!
America! America!
God shed His grace on thee
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!

3 thoughts on “Oh America

  1. Well put and thank you for the perspective. Today I was grumbling at the letter from the VA, informing us that his disability rating had not been increased nearly as much as we’d been hoping. But…at least he came home from the sandbox mostly safe and mostly sound. I need to count my blessings, rest in God’s peace and fight the VA another day!

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