Monday, May 28, 2007
. . .the price of freedom
It's all in the comprehension of it, and that never came to me until I was a nineteen year old on another continent. Oh, I was very patriotic - no doubt there! With three of my four grandparents having served in the Navy and numerous cousins who have devoted years to the military, I was taught to respect the uniform and those who gave the ultimate sacrifice.

Good Old Dad. . .he pulled us out of bed every Memorial Day morning to attend some ceremony honoring Veterans. I have heard a great deal of gun salutes and tear jerking speeches. I have watched as legions of older people marched Old Glory up some cemetery lane and eventually placed a wreath on a grave. It was doing just what Dad wanted - planting seeds that would eventually bloom as patriotic citizens. It worked; Dad has five Flag honoring offspring!

Seeds were also planted in school, as every single morning of my education, my hand was over my heart as a pledge flowed from my lips. I became patriotic and grateful, but I still didn't realize the beauty of my freedom.

Then I went to Europe.

No, I wasn't really touring, although I did a good deal of sight-seeing. I was there to make a difference, but the biggest difference happened in me. . .

While there,

- I saw what communism does to the human soul and spirit.

- Through streets I walked, I saw blockades intended for German troops.

- I saw trees with bullet and grenade scars.

- Almost every person I met had lost family members to the brutal Nazi machine - no age was spared. They were still talking about it generations later. . .

- I saw bombed buildings. (The darker section was left as a memorial.)

- Citizens thanked me for sending my "men" to save theirs. (Quite different than what the liberal media portrays!)

- Then I toured a war museum. . . The pictures, the remains, the pieces of human lives. . . Reminders of the atrocities committed by Hitler's men. . .

The museum left me heart broken and changed. When I made it back to the room where I was staying, I recall shutting the door and weeping. For the first time, the price of freedom dawned on me.
Upon my return to the USA, I cannot explain the joy that raced through me as I peered out a plane window and caught my first glimpse of American shoreline. When my feet finally landed on Florida soil, I almost kissed that, too! I am truly blessed to be an American. I cherish my freedom more than ever, and when I have to say that pledge of allegiance now. . . Well. . .all I do is cry!

My deepest appreciation goes to those who paid the price!

  posted at 8:51 AM  

At 11:25 AM, Blogger Sankey Family said...

Couldn't agree more with your sentiments in this post. For me, living in a foreign country has made my home country, the good 'ole USA, even more dear to me - and I have the same "kiss the ground" feeling every time I cross the border or fly in.

Happy Memorial Day!

At 11:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Awesome post, Martha! It gave me goosebumps. :)
God Bless America, land that I love!!!!

At 12:00 PM, Blogger Julie said...

Martha, I really enjoyed reading this post! We just got home from a Memorial Day Parade and seeing all the men and women in uniform was amazing. It made me SO proud to be an American!

At 2:56 PM, Blogger ~Heather~ said...

Good post Martha! It's sooo true. Like Melodie said, LIVING IN A FOREIGN COUNTRY MAKES ONE L-O-V-E THE USA! When we are in another country, we sometimes feel that America can do no wrong...but then we realize that there are bad things there too....but the GOOD THINGS, and our Christian Heritage, and our freedom outweigh the wrong! GOD BLESS AMERICA....I LOVE THE USA!!!!

Thanks for posting this!
Hope you are having a good day, not a sick day!
Love, Heather =)

At 4:08 PM, Blogger Gene Davis said...

Beautifully said.....I am glad that there are that share such a passionate about America as I do!!!

At 5:29 PM, Blogger Beth Yoder said...

Awesome post!!!! I wish all the people that I go to church with could read it!!!!

At 7:11 PM, Blogger Lavy Country said...

What a great post! I am right with you -- standing straight, bursting with pride trying to contain myself while singing the National Anthem. I love my country and am thankful for the ones that "more than self their country loved". God bless America and those fighting to keep it the land of the free!

At 8:48 PM, Anonymous hubert hotchkiss said...

Very well said. The reason our country is so great - we were founded on Christian principles. The principle of selflessness is shown most when we remember those who sacrificed so much.

Thank You,


At 10:49 PM, Blogger Angie Davis said...

I'm not yet a citizen, but I'm pretty proud to be an almost-American. I loved your post. Happy Memorial Day!

At 8:56 AM, Blogger The Dewhurst Family said...

That post was wonderful. It really brightened my day.

At 10:22 AM, Blogger Tamra said...

A friend of ours was once a slave (along with his whole family) in the Auschwitz concentration camp. Unfortunately, he was the only survivor, but I never tire of hearing his stories. Especially, how he overcame horrible adversities and is now living the American dream. We truly have so much to be thankful for and proud of! After having the privilege of visiting three foreign countries, I will never take our wonderful USA for granted again.

At 10:52 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I totally agree with you and thank you for your beautiful post. My Grandpa served in WWII and I have many other close relatives who have served in the armed forces as well. I am definitely proud to be an American and am so humbled and grateful when I think of the sacrifices our troops have made, especially those that have paid the ultimate price and given their lives. God bless America!

At 10:54 AM, Blogger LaDonna said...

That post was amazing!! I wish we could see more patriotic pride among the "younger" generation! Thanks!

At 1:38 PM, Anonymous Sarah Cook said...

Great job!
Hey, I need you to either call or email me.
I don't know if you have talked with the Manley's recently... well, I will tell you when you write or call. Talk to ya later.

At 3:42 PM, Blogger Les said...

Oh how I remember Pap's stories of the pride of being in the Navy and fighting for our country. I remember standing next to him at high school ball games and watching him cry while the band played our anthem. I was taught respect at such a young age, and still get so upset when I see much older people than I, not remove their hats while the anthem is played. My boys are being taught like we were. You stand at attention, take off your hat, don't move (let alone talk) and show honor and respect for our American Hero's! With all the talk going on with this war we are in, I think too many people lose sight of what is really important. With 2 family members currently fighting for this country, I'm a little sensitive! Thanks for your post and allowing me to go off on my tangent!

At 10:52 PM, Anonymous Sandi Perkins said...

This was a tremedous post. You have quite a talent for saying what I "want" to say. I am so very proud to be an American, and am proud that my husband served our country during the Cuban Crisis, and now our son is serving our country in the Army in Germany. I am very blessed!!

At 1:32 PM, Blogger Martha C said...

Thank you, All, for your kind comments. They meant a lot!

At 8:49 PM, Blogger Sharlyn said...

Wow! I hope you don't mind, but I put a link to this post on my blog. Thanks for sharing your heart.


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Martha C

To all my family and friends, this blog was commenced as a way to keep you informed during my frequent communication lapses. Enjoy reading of our life in this far, far away land called "the South."

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