As we pause to celebrate Independence Day this month, let’s ensure we focus on the right things. Over time, 4th of July celebrations have become all about BBQ and festivities, without really thinking about what it means to be free. Freedom isn’t free, and someone is always paying the price. Let’s remember that this Independence Day.
Sarah and I have had the experience of being with folks who weren’t always free. We were there in the Fulda Gap in Germany when the Warsaw Pact crumbled in 1989 and the East Germans experienced freedom for the first time. I was there in Kuwait during Desert Shield and Desert Storm when we liberated the Kuwait’s from the oppressive regime of Saddam Hussein, and then in Iraq when we attempting to provide the Iraq people the opportunity to be free.
In each and every case, they cherished freedom because they knew what it was like when they were not free. They couldn’t worship as they pleased, or express their opinion. They couldn’t provide for themselves or their families.
Sometimes I worry that we as American’s take freedom for granted. It is all we have ever known. Some folks believe that we as a Nation will be free forever, and that our grandchildren will enjoy the same freedoms we enjoy today.
I hope that is true, but there is no guarantee. As you read this, there are American sons and daughters deployed to far way places protecting our freedoms and our way of life. There are evil people out there who want to take away our freedoms, like they did on 9/11. Our Nation’s military is putting themselves in harms way on a daily basis to ensure that doesn’t happen again. Less than 1% of the American public is serving our Nation in uniform, but we are all enjoying the freedoms provided by that select few. Let’s always remember that.