Hello SOTGC community,
As our country celebrates the anniversary of our independence, one cannot help but to think about the countless lives lost fighting for the freedom we value. This freedom comes in many ways and just takes a walk or drive across town or the country to soak in the liberties that we have in this great country.
One of the liberties I am reminded of weekly for my family starts every Sunday morning as we wake up to have breakfast as a family and head out to church…Freedom of Religion. Driving through town, I am able to count in a two mile radius six churches, all different denominations. While passing these churches, I am able to silently name in my mind several friends and families that attend those churches. How great is it they also have a choice in which to worship, at the same time, we are able to maintain friendships with one another?
There are many other ‘freedoms’ one receives when granted a Citizen of the United States and should be honored and respected by every citizen; young or old. This freedom does not come easily and as we sit comfortably in our living rooms, at the pool, vacationing in any state we wish, remember the lives lost fighting to protect our boarders and our freedoms.
Imagine the fear one must live with everyday in the Middle East, unsure whether they will enter or exit their religious temples…ALIVE. It is heart breaking enough to hear 3 Israeli teens were kidnapped walking home from school and found dead weeks later, but then to hear retaliation fighting and killing that follows.
My heart aches for those that have lived in this type of fear their entire lives; to never know peace as we know peace in our country. When we hear bombs exploding, it is in celebration of New Year’s, 4th of July, start of a NASCAR race or various other celebrations. Can you imagine living in a world where those sounds occur daily, knowing that it means someone…several people…have lost lives because of their religious beliefs?
I took my freedom for granted for a very long time, until September 11, 2001, which was a turning point for not only myself, but everyone in this country and around the world. For many years I viewed my life in the United States as untouchable; I was wrong, along with millions of others. At that moment I started to look at my live differently, my freedom, and the men and woman that put their own lives on the line to save me – a stranger to them. I am honored and will never have the words to adequately pay tribute to their service and sacrifice.
A year after September 11th, I became a mother for the first time and my appreciation and gratitude grew tenfold, realizing that it was not only my husband and me willing to give our lives for our precious twin boys, that we had a military that would give their lives for my entire family…the ultimate sacrifice. As our family grew by one more, this by adoption through the country of China, I stood in a large room in the US Consulate building with many other families waiting to finalize our adoptions, I was struck with emotions that I could not contain. Standing in this room, as the representative and voice of our new daughter and reciting the Pledge of Allegiance and signing the National Anthem, once again grateful for the freedoms given to every citizen of our country. It is overwhelming to put that into words or to comprehend what it takes for someone to make the decision to serve; I will forever be grateful.
With summer in full swing and as you are traveling near and far to see loved ones, please take time to remember our extended families in uniform (and their families left behind). Leverage your Freedom of Religion and pray for their safe return. Take a bold risk and give up one of your luxuries for someone in the military…BRAVO Amy Adams for giving your First Class seat up for a soldier!
If you see someone in uniform (Military, Police Officer, Fire Fighter), show your appreciation, be a role model to our younger generations that we NEED to respect those that protect us. Your appreciation can be shown in many ways; a hug, a verbal word of appreciation, purchase their meal, give up your seat, the list goes on. What will you do?
If this post resonated with you, take time to thank those in uniform for the sacrifice they give every day to protect our Freedoms! Be Proud to be an American! Please share this article with others…Tweet, Pin or share on LinkedIn or Facebook.