Declaration of Independence

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. - That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Freedom Is Not Free!

                    Families, communities, and nations are strengthened when we as members, residents, and citizens realize that freedom comes at great cost.  This week we celebrated 236 years of freedom, independence, and liberty since the signing of the Declaration of Independence.  The Signers pledged their Lives, their Fortunes and their sacred Honor in order that they, their countrymen, and their posterity could live without tyranny.  Many of them lost their fortunes, some of them lost their lives, and others lost family members because they signed the Declaration, but all of them are honored for their courage and their integrity.

                    The greatest freedoms given to mankind - freedom from sin and freedom from death - were paid by the Atonement of Jesus Christ.   Our Savior suffered great pain and anguish in order to bring us these freedoms.  We should at least recognize the great price the Lord paid that we might be eternally free as well as the price our Heavenly Father paid in allowing His Beloved Son to thus suffer.  Freedom is not free!

                    For more than 236 years men and women in the military have stood between Americans and our enemies.  They were there during many wars, including the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, World War I, World War II, the Korean Conflict, the Vietnam War, two wars in Iraq, and one in Afghanistan.  Thousands of men and women paid the ultimate price by giving their lives for their countrymen; thousands of others paid the price in loss of health or loss of family.   Freedom is not free!

                    One of my nieces posted the following poem on Facebook a few days ago.  I do not know the author, but I felt it was very fitting for her to remind all of us about the cost of freedom.  She is a former member of the military, and her husband is currently serving in the military.  She clearly understands that freedom is not free!

                    As parents, grandparents, leaders, and teachers, we must instill in the rising generation that we all enjoy freedom, independence, and liberty because someone else paid the price for us to do so.  Our families, communities, and nations will be stronger when we all remember that freedom is not free.

                    I watched the flag pass by one day.
                    It fluttered in the breeze.
                    A young Marine saluted it,
                    And then he stood at ease.

                    I looked at him in uniform,
                    So young, so tall, so proud.
                    With hair cut square and eyes alert,
                    He'd stand out in any crowd.

                    I thought how many men like him
                    Had fallen through the years.
                    How many died on foreign soil;
                    How many mothers' tears?

                    How many pilots' planes shot down?
                    How many died at sea?
                    How many foxholes were soldier's graves?
                    NO, FREEDOM ISN'T FREE!

                    I heard the sound of Taps one night,
                    When everything was still.
                    I listened to the bugler play
                    And felt a sudden chill.

                    I wondered just how many times
                    That Taps had meant `Amen.'
                    When a flag had draped a coffin
                    Of a brother or a friend.

                    I thought of all the children,
                    Of the mothers and the wives,
                    Of fathers, sons and husbands
                    With interrupted lives.

                    I thought about a graveyard
                    At the bottom of the sea.
                    Of unmarked graves in Arlington.
                    NO FREEDOM ISN'T FREE!

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