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.

Thursday, July 2, 2020

What Is the Cost of Freedom?

            The liberty principle for this Freedom Friday is the simple fact that freedom is not free. “Black Lives Matter” and other self-centered Americans are demanding certain concessions and are promising to “burn the place down” if they do not get what they want. They are also trying to erase the history of our nation that they do not like by destroying statues and buildings. It seems that some classes on American history studies could be beneficial to them, particularly the history about the founding of America. They may learn to show a little gratitude for the great blessings that they have in America.

I am in the process of reading the Prelude to Glory series written by Ron Carter and am reading volume five about the struggles of George Washington and the American army in 1777. I love this series of historical fiction because it helps me to learn the history, while at the same time it reminds me that freedom is not free.   
            The freedom that we enjoy comes at great cost to many people. During the Revolutionary War, the soldiers walked every step of the way. Can you imagine walking from New York City to Philadelphia? Now consider how that trip would be if you were being chased by an enemy army. Do you have any idea of what it is like to live in the great outdoors without the benefit of a tent in the heat of summer and the cold of winter? Most Americans have heard of the winter that George Washington and his army spent at Valley Forge. There they erected cabins where they could be warm, but they had little food and not enough clothes to wear. They wrapped blankets around their feet because their shoes wore out, and they wore rags because the Continental Congress could not provide enough clothes for their army. Yet, the soldiers soldiered on and did what they needed to do. They won some battles, and they lost some battles. However, they stuck with the task until they won the war and gained independence from Great Britain. “All gave some, and some gave all.”

            I understood that the members of the military made great sacrifices in their service to their nation. However, I did not consider the sacrifices made by the families of soldiers, airmen, sailors, and marines when their husband or wife, father or mother, son or daughter were in the Armed Forces until my own son was in the Air Force. He is a trained emergency room doctor, and he was deployed a couple of times. His first deployment was to Qatar where he provided medical assistance to military men and women who were there resting from battle. He did not see any battle casualties, but he took care of things like sprained ankles suffered on the basketball court.

My son’s six-month deployment may have been boring for him, but it was a sacrifice for his family. He and his wife had two little girls – one was two years old and the other was six months old, and he was gone over Christmas. The biggest problem that I can see from the separation was that he missed out on six months of the lives of his daughters. The little one had no idea who he was and did not warm up to him for several months after he returned home. He spent years developing a relationship with her.

            My son’s second deployment was to Chile after a great earthquake there. He and numerous other medical personnel took a portable hospital to Chile and expected to provide medical services while there. They discovered that there were plenty of doctors and nurses in Chile, but no medical facilities. Once the hospital was set up and running, the medical group flew back to their base. The sacrifice for this deployment was that it came just as my son and his wife were leaving for a vacation in Puerto Rico with my daughter and her husband. My husband and I were flying to the East Coast to care for his two daughters and infant son while they were gone. My son left hours before we arrived at his home, and his wife left on the trip as planned. However, my son did not return in time for us to see him before we returned to our home.

            The sacrifices made by my family are small and insignificant compared to the ones made by many military families. Some military personnel do not return to their families alive, and others return home with serious medical problems. Some suffer mental problems for months, years, or for the rest of their life.

            Freedom is not free, and the costs are paid by a small percentage of the population of our nation. Another percentage of the nation does not recognize the sacrifices being made in their behalf and demands changes. They are like little children who think only of themselves. Maybe Israel has the right idea when they require all citizens to serve in the military as young adults. I feel certain that they appreciate their country!

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