Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Thankful For A Free Country

Veterans Day

Quite honestly, I have no business writing anything about
Veterans Day.
Folks who live under rocks, like me, are best kept silent in matters relating to patriotism and politics.
It's not that we don't have appreciation and respect for the men and women who so nobly and selflessly protected our country,
but simply that we don't pay close enough attention to
why they were called to serve.
Having said that, I feel compelled to expound on the subject.

Admittedly, I am apathetic.
I pay little attention to current political trends and I know little about our elected officials.
It is a fact of which I am not proud, but I am unmotivated at present to correct the error of my ways.
In matters of war, I can offer only that I am completely opposed.
My narrow minded view stems not from my response to recent reports that our nation is further from world peace today than it was a decade ago, but instead from an innate sense that there is always a better way.
It is a rare occasion that finds me entangled in a discussion about such matters, for I avoid extrapolating and risking the exposure of my naivete. But when pressed to do so, I share my unaffected belief that if castration were a real and present consequence of instigating armed conflict, fewer men would hasten
to pick up a rifle.

But I digress. My purpose here is to acknowledge those who relinquished the frivolities of civilian life for the austerity of military life, so that we may be afforded those freedoms we
so often take for granted.

I am proud to be an American, and I know that life would be far different were it not for our ancestors who fought so valiantly to protect our rights and freedoms.
I am honored to be the grandchild of one who served. I know little of his sacrifice however, because his stories unfolded at a time when I was too young to understand.
By the time my interest was piqued, his flag was folded and presented to my grandmother, and his stories buried with him.

Today, my limited knowledge affords me the opportunity to
know what it means to be the aunt of a grown child, a son of
U.S. Airforce personnel. He is a young man, dear to my heart who has spent time in our home while his mother served in remote places on less friendly soil. In spite of a demanding military career, she has raised a fine son.
The sacrifice however, has not been hers alone.
Intermittently, I have watched him grow from boy to man and I have witnessed his struggle to find a single definition of home.
Denied the "normalcy" a childhood in civilian life affords, he demonstrates a maturity and stoicism uncommon to his peers.
These days, he enjoys campus life, far removed from base housing and the rigors of military life, but no less affected by, or
concerned for his mother's safety in a new locale on foreign soil.

Where sacrifice is concerned, I am humbled by the dedication of our men and women in uniform, but no less grateful to the families of those who serve. For theirs is a sacrifice made without the freedom of choice, at the mercy of a government who affords such valiance a day of honor and recognition, but little else.

Perhaps it is time for me to reread the history lessons I committed only to short term memory through the course of my education.
By understanding the annals of our nation, I might be better able to digest the current state of our affairs.
Or, I could just go back under my rock.

This is my truth;


"In free countries, every man is entitled to
express his opinions and every other man
is entitled not to listen."

~ G. Norman Collie

From "Famous Quotes About Democracy"
The U.S. Constitution And Fascinating Facts About It
~ Terry Jordan

No comments: