Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Let Freedom Ring

I'm proud to be an American.

That's not just a catch-phrase or a Lee Greenwood lyric.  It's the truth.

But when I was young, I think that I took being an American for granted.  Because when you're young, you take almost everything for granted.

When I was 7-years-old, I had to have this particular My Little Pony. She was purple with green hair.  She had ribbons or bows or sparkles or something like that on her butt.  And now I don't remember her name, which is sort of the point.  But then?  It was serious business.  I was sure that the sky would fall into my bedroom if I didn't get my hands on that pony.

I didn't think about the cost of it.  Or the fact that my parents had just paid for my tonsillectomy.  Or the fact that I had just gotten a bunch of new toys for my birthday.  I only thought about that pony.

My parents eventually caved and bought it for me.  AND IT WAS PURE AWESOMENESS.  Oh, the adventures that she and I had!  I would hold her in my hand and make her trot or gallop - adding those not-annoying-to-parents-whatsoever whinnying sound effects.


She was beautiful.  She was magnificent.  She was all I ever wanted.


Until 3-days later when I left her at the pool.  But it was okay because I already had my eye on that new Peaches and Cream Barbie.
  
See?  I took that purple-what's-her-name-pony for granted.  I took my parents for granted.  And less than a month later, I took that Peaches and Cream Barbie for granted, too, when I gave her a less than stellar haircut at my cousin's house.  (Sorry, Ken.  Hopefully you love Barbie for what she looks like on the inside.)


My childhood view of freedom was like that My Little Pony.  I just expected it.  I never thought about what it took to earn it.

When you're a kid and you're born into a country like America, you don't know to appreciate it.  It is what it is. It's what given to you.  It's what's normal and expected.  It's just life.

You forget that not everybody was born into the freedoms and independence that you were.  In fact, you don't even know enough about the world to be able to create that thought in your head.

So, if you're 7-years-old and you're reading this blog, it's totally fine. You're forgiven.

But as I've gotten older, the pride for my country has grown stronger.  Because now, I understand the difference between this plot of land and another.  And now, "I'm proud to be an American" isn't just a catch-phrase or a Lee Greenwood lyric anymore.

I sell insurance in my family's health and life insurance agency.  Obviously, with the recent Supreme Court's decision to uphold the Healthcare Reform Law, health insurance has become a pretty hot topic.  Some oppose.  Some support.  But everybody has an opinion.

Campaigns are in full force for every election from President of the United States all the way down to your local Tax Commissioner.  You can't drive to the grocery store or talk to your neighbor without seeing or hearing political opinions.  How the country should be run.  How tax revenue should be spent.  How so-in-so is a crook.  How such-in-such will make it better.

And as annoying as it is to have my Facebook news feed cluttered with political satire, I thank God that we live in a country where we can do that.  We are free to express our opinions no matter how negative they might be.  And I thank God that we live in a country where I can thank God in a blog post.

Whether you're a Democrat, Republican or Independent.  Whether you agree or disagree about this issue or that issue.  Whether you voice opposition or support.  All that adversary is exactly what bonds us together.  It's the fact that we CAN do those things.  It's the fact that we do have choices.  It's the fact that we do have a voice.

In 1788, when the American Constitution went into effect, the United States established a relationship between its citizen and the State that was historically unique.  In America, the individual was in charge and the State would serve the individual, and there would be a certain amount of intentional distance between the two.  This unique relationship - and not our geographic size or our resources - was what propelled America to greatness.    

In 2008, an 18-year-old young man named Gary Lee joined the U.S. Army.  He grew up in a small town just a few miles away from mine.

In April, 2011, his mother heard a knock at the door.  She almost forgot to breathe when she saw the two uniformed officers standing on her front porch.  They were there to tell her that her son lost his life in Iraq.  He died for his country.  He died for you and me.  And on that day, a mother had to say goodbye to her 20-year-old baby.

When Lee's body was brought home for the funeral, people lined the streets to pay their respects as the hearse drove through town.  Some people knew him personally.  Most didn't.  But all were there to say thank you to Gary Lee.  Thank you for your service and for your sacrifice.

My good friend Michele took some photos at this event.  They touched me so much that I saved them, and I wanted to share them with you today.

Because, to me, this is what being an American is all about.

It's about being willing to give your life to protect others.



It's about showing respect to those who do.



It's about knowing what that sacrifice means to all of us.    


It's about teaching those lessons to our children so they can teach their children.



Being an American is about shedding tears for a total stranger because the salty gratitude streaming down your face is the only way that you can say thank you.  And you're so thankful to this young man who gave everything so you can have everything.   


That is what being an American is all about.  And that is something to be proud of.

So today and every day, I'm proud to be an American.  Happy Independence Day!



One click = One vote.  Please click the banner below to register one vote for Werdyab Blog.  Thank you!  
  Vote for me @ Top Mommy Blogs - Mom Blog Directory

81 comments:

  1. Very moving post. My husband is overseas and this gave me goosebumps. And I can definitely understand taking this country for granted. I still catch myself doing it from time to time.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So proud of you and your husband for your sacrifice and your service!

      Delete
  2. You expressed my thoughts exactly. I try to explain this to my children frequently. They don't get it (they're 7 and 9) but I still tell them... because we ARE so VERY lucky!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mine don't get it, either... but hopefully they will one day. :)

      Delete
  3. This was a beautifully written and moving post. You're so right, on all counts.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Very true and so well said. Thank you for reminding us. Thank you for mentioning the young man who died. These are touching pictures. My husband served in the Air Force for 20 years, so this day is important to us. As a nation, we take so much for granted.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My husband for an Air Force guy, too! :) He was stationed at Ramstein.

      Delete
  5. Well said, my lady. Eloquent and heartfelt. Thank you for putting my heart into words. And thank you Gary. I'll say a prayer tonight for his mother.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I agree. Many natural born Americans take freedom for granted because that's all we've ever had. By the way, my daughter had PERSONALIZED most of her Barbies and her My Little Pony with the use of scissors and Sharpies.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I might be biased here, but your daughter sounds like a GEM. She and I should get together and "personalize" some toys one of the these days... :)

      Delete
  7. hermes bags, http://www.hermesbags.co.uk/
    michael kors bags, http://www.michaelkorsbags.uk/
    cheap nba jerseys, http://www.nbajerseys.net/
    swarovski crystal, http://www.swarovskicrystals.co.uk/
    cheap nfl jerseys, http://www.cheap-nfljersey.us.com/
    vans shoes, http://www.vans-shoes.cc/
    ralph lauren uk, http://www.ralphlaurenoutletuk.org.uk/
    ray ban sunglasses, http://www.raybansunglass.co.uk/
    longchamp handbags, http://www.longchamphandbag.us.com/
    air max 2015, http://www.airmax2015.in.net/
    roshe run, http://www.rosherunshoessale.com/
    beats by dr dre, http://www.beatsbydrdre-headphones.us.com/
    dansko outlet, http://www.dansko-shoes.us/
    louis vuitton outlet, http://www.louisvuittonus.us.com/
    links of london, http://www.linksoflondons.co.uk/
    louis vuitton handbags, http://www.louisvuittonhandbags.org.uk/
    abercrombie and fitch, http://www.abercrombie-fitch.us.com/
    gucci handbags, http://www.guccihandbags-outlet.co.uk/
    ralph lauren uk, http://www.ralphlauren-outletonline.co.uk/
    coach outlet canada, http://www.coachoutletcanada.com.co/
    rolex watches, http://www.rolexwatches.in.net/
    tory burch outlet, http://www.toryburch.in.net/
    2015930caihuali

    ReplyDelete
  8. Additionally, it doesn’t matter how extremely you should be complete with treating a very platform, gradually you’ll discover an instance the places you should want to do a number instruct care; and as a consequence influenced by your real age but also bodybuilding, therfore the inches of one’s caravan it could be a awfully excessive pastime. motor movers
    If you want to learn more about Fitness Tools you visit now.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I enjoyed over read your blog post. Your blog has nice information, I got good ideas from this amazing blog. I am always searching like this type blog post. I hope I will see again.
    Want to learn more about Fitness Equipmentus you visit now

    ReplyDelete
  10. Just pure brilliance from you here. I have never expected something less than this from you and you have not disappointed me at all. I suppose you will keep the quality work going on.
    Want to learn more about Fitness Tools Review you visit now

    ReplyDelete
  11. Your blog provided us with valuable information to work with. Each & every tips of your post are awesome. Thanks a lot for sharing. Keep blogging,
    If you want to learn more about https://fitnessequipmentus.com/best-foot-and-leg-massager-reviews/ you visit now

    ReplyDelete
  12. Wow! I am really impressed by the way you detailed out everything. It’s very informative and you are obviously very knowledgeable in this field. Thanks for sharing such an amazing post with us.
    If you want to learn more about https:/fitnessequipmentus.com/best-foot-and-calf-massagers/, you visit now

    ReplyDelete
  13. Wow! I am really impressed by the way you detailed out everything. It’s very informative and you are obviously very knowledgeable in this field. Thanks for sharing such an amazing post with us.
    If you want to learn more about https://fitnessequipmentus.com/best-face-massager-reviews/, you visit now

    ReplyDelete
  14. I really appreciate the kind of topics you post here. Thanks for sharing us a great information that is actually helpful. Good day!
    If you want to learn more about Fitness Equipmentus, you visit now

    ReplyDelete
  15. Nice post. I was checking constantly this blog and I am impressed! Extremely helpful information specially the last part I care for such info a lot. I was seeking this particular information for a very long time. Thank you and good luck.
    If you want to learn more about Fitness Equipmentus, you visit now

    ReplyDelete
  16. Commenting on your blog post is simply amazing. I have learned a lot of things from your content and I would love to check out your website often. It helped me a lot and I am really thankful to you for mentioning relevant content. I have also subscribed your blog and will go through its details every now and then.
    If you want to learn more about Fitness Equipmentus, you visit now

    ReplyDelete
  17. This post is extremely easy to peruse and acknowledge without forgetting any subtle elements. Incredible work! Very informative post!
    If you want to learn more aboutBest Handheld Massager, you visit now

    ReplyDelete
  18. Awesome post. I’m a normal visitor of your web site and appreciate you taking the time to maintain the nice site. I’ll be a frequent visitor for a long time.
    If you want to learn more about Fitness Equipmentus, you visit now

    ReplyDelete
  19. That was a great and comprehensive article…all the tips enumerated and explained will be helpful for those who are wise enough to tap from it. Any business nowadays without social media signals and presence may not make it to the outermost, and investment too is part of the key to success in business. Keep up the good work.
    If you want to learn more about Best Home Back Massager you visit now

    ReplyDelete
  20. I admire what you have done here. I like the part where you say you are doing this to give back but I would assume by all the comments that this is working for you as well.
    I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don’t know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often
    If you want to learn more about https://fitnessequipmentus.com/best-home-foot-massager-reviews/ you visit now

    ReplyDelete
  21. Considerably, the story is in reality the greatest on this noteworthy topic. I agree with your conclusions and will eagerly watch forward to your next updates. Saying nice one will not just be sufficient, for the wonderful clarity in your writing. I will immediately grab your rss feed to stay privy of any updates
    If you want to learn more about Health Tips, you visit now

    ReplyDelete
  22. A debt of gratitude is in order for the pleasant web journal. It was extremely valuable for me. I’m upbeat I discovered this site. Much obliged to you for offering to us,I too dependably discover some new information from your post.
    If you want to learn more about Health Care, you visit now

    ReplyDelete
  23. I will really appreciate the writer’s choice for choosing this excellent article appropriate to my matter.Here is deep description about the article matter which helped me more.
    If you want to learn more about Health Care, you visit now

    ReplyDelete
  24. Just pure brilliance from you here. I have never expected something less than this from you and you have not disappointed me at all. I suppose you will keep the quality work going on.
    If you want to learn more aboutHealth Tips, you visit now

    ReplyDelete
  25. I have been exploring for a little bit for any high quality articles or blog posts in this sort of space . Exploring in Yahoo I eventually stumbled upon this web site. Studying this info So i am happy to express that I’ve an incredibly just right uncanny feeling I found out just what I needed. I such a lot for sure will make sure to do not fail to remember this site and provides it a look a relentless basis.
    If you want to learn more aboutHealth Tips, you visit now

    ReplyDelete
  26. This is really a nice and informative, containing all information and also has a great impact on the new technology. Thanks for sharing it fantastic website, where did u come up with the records on this posting? i am thrilled i discovered it though, unwell be checking returned soon to discover what additional posts you include.
    If you want to learn more aboutHealth Care, you visit now

    ReplyDelete
  27. I really appreciate this article Thanks For Sharing People also like this Awesome post.
    I have also gone through your other posts too and they are also very much appreciate able and I’m just waiting for your next update to come as I like all your posts.
    If you want to learn more aboutHealth Care, you visit now

    ReplyDelete
  28. This is my first time i visit here. I found so many interesting stuff in your blog especially its discussion. From the tons of comments on your articles, I guess I am not the only one having all the enjoyment here! keep up the good work
    If you want to learn more aboutHealth Care, you visit now

    ReplyDelete
  29. Greetings from Ohio! I’m bored to death at work so I decided to browse your blog on my iphone during lunch break. I enjoy the knowledge you present here and can’t wait to take a look when I get home. I’m surprised at how fast your blog loaded on my mobile .. I’m not even using WIFI, just 3G .. Anyways, very good blog!
    If you want to learn more aboutHealth Care, you visit now

    ReplyDelete
  30. Hello I am so delighted I located your blog, I really located you by mistake, while I was watching on google for something else, Anyways I am here now and could just like to say thank for a tremendous post and a all round entertaining website. Please do keep up the great work.
    If you want to learn more aboutHealth Toolss, you visit now

    ReplyDelete
  31. Thanks for your sharing. I have more knowledge because of the posts. Your pieces of advice help me so much. They are awesome and helpful. They tell me exactly what I want to know. I love to read your posts. I wait for them everyday. I’m very excited to enjoy new articles. Once again, thanks a lot. Have a good day! If you want to learn more about Health Care you visit now

    ReplyDelete
  32. I like it because my fingers can move fast and and it’s like a challenge and I like it but why sooooo many ads that’s in called for that’s what the problem is you need to fix it so the better this game can be the more u are happy and others. That’s everything I think of this came. If you want to learn more about Health Care you visit now

    ReplyDelete
  33. Nice post. I was checking constantly this blog and I am impressed! Extremely helpful information specially the last part I care for such info a lot. I was seeking this particular information for a very long time. Thank you and good luck. If you want to learn more about Health Care , you visit now

    ReplyDelete
  34. I will really appreciate the writer’s choice for choosing this excellent article appropriate to my matter.Here is deep description about the article matter which helped me more. If you want to learn more about Health Care, you visit now

    ReplyDelete
  35. Just pure brilliance from you here. I have never expected something less than this from you and you have not disappointed me at all. I suppose you will keep the quality work going on. If you want to learn more about Health Care, you visit now

    ReplyDelete
  36. I enjoyed over read your blog post. Your blog has nice information; I got good ideas from this amazing blog. I am always searching like this type blog post. I hope I will see again. If you want to learn more about Health Care, you visit now

    ReplyDelete
  37. In the wake of examining your article I was shocked. I understand that you clear up it extraordinarily well. In addition, I assume that diverse peruses will in like manner experience how I feel in the wake of scrutinizing your article. If you want to learn more about Health Care, you visit now

    ReplyDelete
  38. I finally found magnificent post here. I will get back here. I just added your blog to my bookmark regions. thanks. Quality presents is the fundamental on welcome the visitors to visit the webpage page, that is the thing that this site page is giving. If you want to learn more about Health Care, you visit now

    ReplyDelete
  39. I was surfing the Internet for information and came across your blog. I am impressed by the information you have on this blog. It shows how well you understand this subject. If you want to learn more about Health Care, you visit now

    ReplyDelete
  40. I really appreciate the kind of topics you post here. Thanks for sharing us a great information that is actually helpful. Good day! If you want to learn more about Health Care, you visit now

    ReplyDelete
  41. Hello I am so delighted I located your blog, I really located you by mistake, while I was watching on Google for something else, Anyways I am here now and could just like to say thank for a tremendous post and a all round entertaining website. Please do keep up the great work. If you want to learn more about Online Marketing Seo you visit now

    ReplyDelete
  42. Nice post. I was checking constantly this blog and I am impressed! Extremely helpful information specially the last part I care for such info a lot. I was seeking this particular information for a very long time. Thank you and good luck. If you want to learn more about Online Marketing Seo, you visit now

    ReplyDelete
  43. Exceptionally useful post! There is a considerable measure of data here that can enable any business to begin with a fruitful long range informal communication campaign! If you want to learn more about Online Marketing you visit now

    ReplyDelete
  44. Thank you for sharing excellent information. Your website is so cool. I am impressed by the details that you have on this website. It reveals how nicely you understand this subject. Bookmarked this website page, will come back for extra articles. If you want to learn more about Online Marketing Seo, you visit now

    ReplyDelete
  45. That was a great and comprehensive article…all the tips enumerated and explained will be helpful for those who are wise enough to tap from it. Any business nowadays without social media signals and presence may not make it to the outermost, and investment too is part of the key to success in business. Keep up the good work. If you want to learn more about Seo Marketing, you visit now

    ReplyDelete
  46. Considerably, the story is in reality the greatest on this noteworthy topic. I agree with your conclusions and will eagerly watch forward to your next updates. Saying nice one will not just be sufficient, for the wonderful clarity in your writing. I will immediately grab your rss feed to stay privy of any updates. If you want to learn more about Online Marketing Seo, you visit now

    ReplyDelete
  47. Your blog provided us with valuable information to work with. Each & every tips of your post are awesome. Thanks a lot for sharing. Keep blogging. If you want to learn more about Online Marketing Seo, you visit now

    ReplyDelete
  48. Needed to compose you a tiny note to finally thank you very much yet again for your personal splendid methods you have discussed above. It is strangely open-handed with people like you to provide publicly all that a number of people would have marketed as an electronic book to generate some bucks for their own end, primarily now that you could possibly have tried it if you ever wanted. These inspiring ideas likewise acted like a fantastic way to know that the rest have the same dreams really like my personal own to see a whole lot more concerning this problem. I’m sure there are thousands of more enjoyable times in the future for many who check out your blog. If you want to learn more about Modern Seo, you visit now

    ReplyDelete
  49. That was a great and comprehensive article…all the tips enumerated and explained will be helpful for those who are wise enough to tap from it. Any business nowadays without social media signals and presence may not make it to the outermost, and investment too is part of the key to success in business. Keep up the good work. If you want to learn more about Online Marketing Seo, you visit now

    ReplyDelete
  50. It is vital in these days to have a social media presence. Many businesses overlook this necessity for future growth. It may be more important than putting in more funding. Pricing properly is key, of course. But investing more is not always the best option. Sometimes it’s better to cut unnecessary costs. If you want to learn more about Online Marketing Seo, you visit now

    ReplyDelete
  51. A debt of gratitude is in order for the pleasant web journal. It was extremely valuable for me. I’m upbeat I discovered this site. Much obliged to you for offering to us,I too dependably discover some new information from your post. If you want to learn more about Health Care you visit now

    ReplyDelete
  52. I will really appreciate the writer’s choice for choosing this excellent article appropriate to my matter.Here is deep description about the article matter which helped me more. If you want to learn more about Health Care , you visit now

    ReplyDelete
  53. I was surfing net and luckily ran over this site and discovered exceptionally intriguing stuff here. It’s truly enjoyable to peruse. I delighted in a considerable measure. A debt of gratitude is in order for sharing this superb data. If you want to learn more about Health Care, you visit now

    ReplyDelete
  54. This is my first time i visit here. I found so many interesting stuff in your blog especially its discussion. From the tons of comments on your articles, I guess I am not the only one having all the enjoyment here! keep up the good work. If you want to learn more about Health Care, you visit now

    ReplyDelete
  55. The website loading speed is amazing. It kind of feels that you’re doing any distinctive trick. Moreover, The contents are masterpiece. You have done a fantastic activity on this subject! If you want to learn more about Health Care, you visit now

    ReplyDelete
  56. In the wake of examining your article I was shocked. I understand that you clear up it extraordinarily well. In addition, I assume that diverse peruses will in like manner experience how I feel in the wake of scrutinizing your article. If you want to learn more about Health Care, you visit now

    ReplyDelete
  57. Very good post to remember that these emails are still circulating, in addition to the advice you indicate, they are always very useful to take into account, in principle for all Internet users, but mainly for the less experienced, or seniors who are discovering the Internet and out of ignorance or fear of having their email account closed, agree to include their data, with the disastrous consequences. If you want to learn more about Health Care, you visit now

    ReplyDelete
  58. Exceptionally useful post! There is a considerable measure of data here that can enable any business to begin with a fruitful long range informal communication campaign! If you want to learn more about Health Care, you visit now

    ReplyDelete
  59. In the wake of examining your article I was shocked. I understand that you clear up it extraordinarily well. In addition, I assume that diverse peruses will in like manner experience how I feel in the wake of scrutinizing your article. If you want to learn more about Health Care, you visit now

    ReplyDelete