(photo courtesy Leon Hammack)
This weekend, the Memorial holiday weekend, marks the traditional beginning of the American summer. It signals to most to dust off the grill, clean the boat, get a new swimming suit, re-condition the waters skis, work on your sun tan, and for some work on your basal cell carcinomas, but mostly just enjoy the freedom of the outdoors. Yes it is a time for friends and family to have fun.
This weekend most families will gather in backyard, the beach, the lake, the river, at their relatives houses, having fun, grilling, and enjoying their freedom.
There is that word again, freedom! That word is one of just a few that continuously seems to find its way into the vocabulary of American culture. We have the freedom to go where ever we so desire. We have the basic freedom of speech. We enjoy freedom of religion, or freedom not to participate in an organized a religion. We have the freedom of the press to print all the news that is fit to be the news, without fear of recrimination!
It would appear that we have it all, and we do.
Notwithstanding, all those freedoms that we, as Americans, have the privileges of enjoying, comes with a very high price tag. Someone must provide those freedoms by defending our culture and way of life when necessary. Those defenders are none other than some of “us”. The “us” that I am talking about comes from our finest young men and women this country has to offer. These defenders are our sons and daughters, our moms and dads, our aunts and uncles, our brothers and sisters.
It is odd that we call upon our youth to defend our principles, our culture, and our way of life. We call upon these people to train as warriors in order to defend our freedom by fighting aggression, terrorism, and tyranny worldwide. Unfortunately, these fine young people sometimes to pay the ultimate price for our freedom by giving their life! As we all know, there is a very huge price for our way of life.
There are two very important principals to remember this weekend:
1. Freedom is never free!
2. These are ordinary folks doing extraordinary things!
Together, across the years of our nation’s history, they answered the call.
They stood the watch.
They looked neither left nor right.
They did not search for an exit.
They walked steadily and unafraid into mortal danger, knowing all the risks and all the costs.
This weekend is a holiday designed to recognize the men and women in our military. However, it is really a time to honor those who have paid the ultimate price for freedom, laying down their life so that our way of life will continue to thrive.
To all my family and friends who have served in the Army, Air Force, Navy, Marines, and Coast Guard, I salute you!
To all those who have lost loved ones while defending our country, your loved ones will never be forgotten! I salute you as well!
I will leave you with this from John 15:13
“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his country/family/brothers/friends”
I hope that you will listen to the words of this chilling song by Trace Atkins and the West Point Choir.
Say a prayer for peace for our daughters and our sons!
THEY STOOD THE WATCH!