Friday, July 2, 2010

Independence Day

With our nation's birthday quickly approaching, I've been engaging in my usual hobby during national holidays: meditating. I've been thinking about the sacrifices made so that we can enjoy the freedom and other blessings we have today. I've been thinking about the differences between this country and others and what caused those differences.

There's the popular theory among mormons that this country was set aside so that the gospel could be restored. There's the ever prevalent debate about having the words "in God we trust" in the pledge. There's arguments about what our country's role in the world should be. There are officers commissioned into various branches of the our military every few months. There are people dying, people being saved, people training, people following orders, and people separated from their loved ones for 6 to 20-some months at a time.

What purpose is there in all of the debates? What's the point in the greater scheme of things? One possible point is this: we have freedom of speech (at least significantly more than others do). We are a blessed country and people. We have honorable men and women that have pledged their own lives for our values and beliefs like the men that signed our Declaration of Independence hundreds of years ago. Each day there are Americans deployed, in battle, and in preparation for battle to preserve our way of life and to enable others to improve their situations.

At what cost do our blessings come? Fathers and mothers miss portions of their children's lives. Fathers miss the birth of their children. Men and women are maimed, disabled, even killed. Families are separated. Millions of dollars are spent. Spouses of servicemen and women raise families as single parents all the while worrying about a husband or wife. And each day, more Americans walk into recruiting offices wanting to join up. Each day more oaths of office are sworn and training goes on.

What does it take to sign up? It takes courage, strength, a belief in something stronger than oneself. It takes a man or a woman that wants to make a difference to mankind. It takes a generosity of spirit that is undervalued. It requires endurance, a calmness under pressure, an ability to look past individual concerns at the best for all involved. It requires vision and foresight, a strength of spirit

Less commonly realized, it requires a loving family and partner. A partner that is willing to be faithful, supportive, encouraging, brave, long-suffering, upbeat, and courageous.

What is the price of freedom? Years of dedicated service. Death. Blood. Sweat. Tears. Joy. Pain. Laughter. Family. Love.

Is it worth it?

A thousand times YES!

Thank you everyone that has made it possible. We are eternally in your debt.

1 comment:

  1. What a nice essay! I hadn't caught up with your blog for awhile. It has been fun to sit back and read and see what your thoughts are on things. I love you!