. . .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. . .
- 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!