Let's remember who we are as a nation--and tell our kids

If asked to name a one-word description of what sets the good old USA apart most of us would answer, "Freedom." 

Most of us take our freedom as Americans for granted. Why wouldn't we? Freedom is like the air we breathe: Always there.  

Perhaps that's why we forget freedom isn't free and therefore take veterans and Veterans Day lightly.

Let's takBlog. Wounded Warriors. 11.17e another look. 

Maintaining our freedom cost life itself for many. Those who loved them deal with pain and emptiness that won't quit.

Even many of those who survived still deal with pain of body and mind, some of them for life.  

Veterans Day is all about honoring fellow U.S. citizens who served in our Armed Forces over the years. Even those who never served in a war zone set aside their personal "civilian" life choices for years.

Those who loved them and their extended families so often did the same. Without this sacrifice you and I would not be free.

It seems a puny gesture to honor veterans only one day of the year, doesn't it?   

In the larger sense, Veteran's Day is about what it costs to hang onto our freedom 

One U.S. Marine Corps chaplain expressed it well. 

"It is the soldier, not the reporter who has given us the freedom of the press.

"It is the soldier, not the poet, who has given us the freedom of speech.

"It is the soldier, not the campus organizer, who gives us the freedom to demonstrate.

"It is the soldier who salutes the flag, who serves beneath the flag, and whose coffin is draped by the flag, who allows the protester to burn the flag."

                       -Father Dennis Edward O'Brien, Sergeant, USMC

Giving honor where it is due

Honor translates into respect and appreciation. When we speak it and live it, our children pick up the message: Freedom is precious and those who protect it deserve to know we appreciate what they do.

Blog. Veteran w. kids. signs.  2. 11.15

It doesn't require grand gestures, just the right heart attitude.

If we truly value those who serve/served, it will show.

Children and young people are watching and listening all the time. Even (and especially) when they pretend not to. Kids watch adults hoping to pick up clues on what to believe and what to say and how to live. 

From now on let's make sure we--and our children--notice and talk to veterans and those currently serving and just say Thanks.

This simple gesture can help kids understand that real people keep us free. People who have dreams and feelings and families who love them.

People very much like their parents and the adults they know and love.

If we don't pass on this attitude of appreciation to the next generation, who will? 

It's as easy as speaking well of those who serve in our Armed Forces now or have done so in the past. Always.

Are they perfect and do they always make right decisions? Of course not. They are human beings, as we are. But to let the failings of a few overshadow what is good and right and true misses the point.

Why not choose to look instead at all this Nation has come through?

Ponder the gracious hand of God's blessing on this Nation, right from the start. When we do, we reinforce our own sense of gratitude and satisfaction as Americans. 

What's more, our words and attitudes "trickle down" to our children--and beyond. Our positive comments help them feel good about their world.

Like it or not, our kids "catch" and mimic our outlook on the world.

Once again it comes down to the Golden Rule

It's all about being grateful and showing it. These simple words of Jesus (Matthew 7:12a ESV) cover most of life's situations and human relationships.  

So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them...

Let's just do it! Let's speak our thanks to our veterans or those who actively serve in our Armed Forces. A hug or a pat on the back can encourage their family members, too.

Each of us, whatever our age or ability, can do that much. Any day of any year. Think how that bit of affirmation might strengthen and comfort them.  

Instead of fretting and complaining about what's wrong with America, let's start being part of what's right with these United States of America.  

Consider it a way to speak up for--and help to hang on to--our freedom as Americans. If it seems one person cannot make a difference, listen to Edward Everett Hale 

"I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And I will not let what I cannot do interfere with what I can do. And by the grace of God, I will."              

With gratitude,

Lenore


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