I have been reading not a few posts about Veterans day and what it means to people, encouragement about flying the flag proudly today, and about the cost of freedom. There have even been a few with a history lesson thrown in telling about the fact that Veterans day originally started out as Armistice Day and, I think in Canada, it is called Remembrance Day. But no matter what it is called or how it is "celebrated" I feel the need to throw my two cents in here.
Veterans day is a day that was originally set aside to honor our fallen who had sacrificed their lives to keep this nation free from tyranny. Very few of our young people are aware of the reason for Veterans day anymore, they are just grateful for a day off from school. The whole concept of patriotism is no longer being taught to our youth. There is a great deal of talk today about thanking the Vets for the price that they have paid for our freedom. But if you ask young kids what freedom means you will get many answers that boil down to one concept; the ability to do whatever you want to without anyone stopping you. That is most definitely not freedom and is not what our soldiers fought to preserve.
Freedom, true freedom comes at a high price, and I am not referring to the giving of your life. I am referring to the price that each of pays day in and day out who are striving for the freedom that God promises. The freedom that comes from doing His will. That is the freedom that our military men fought and died to preserve. The freedom to persue God's will. The freedom to, each and everyday, examine our decisions in the light of God's revelation, and decide based on what He wishes for us to do. The freedom to act according to His plan for our lives. The freedom to work and play according to His design for our lives. The freedom to form our consciences based on His teachings and then to follow our consciences. This is what our veterans fought and fight for.
So, when we are encouraged to fly the flag proudly that is what we are seeing. When we see a veteran who is working at WalMart greeting people wearing his war medals or sitting in MacDonalds having a coffee in an old style uniform, we shouldn't just pass him by or give him a smile and then walk away. But instead stop and extend a warm handshake with a heartfelt thank you. Perhaps an inquiry and listen with interest when he explains his part in the history of this country, after all what does it cost you but a few minutes of your precious time compared to the risk of his whole life.
That is what Veterans day means to me. That is what freedom is. That is what I see when I see a flag flying. That is why I will hold up your line at the store to chat with that old man in a uniform. This mom of three veterans.