This bonus post doesn't quite fit into the humorous category, yet hopefully will spark a time of remembering our blessings and who passed them down to us.
This week, most of us will have celebrated the Fourth of July with family and friends. If I were a betting person, I would wager that the majority of us didn't linger long on the road of remembrance, thinking of the price some paid so we could enjoy fireworks, cookouts and parades.
Would you allow me to detour for a moment? Let's step outside the box and consider why we are celebrating in the first place.
Colonies of settlers were struggling in the years just prior to 1776. They were being heavily taxed for goods shipped from England, the mother country, yet they were not allowed to have a say in the government of their land. "Taxation without representation" became their battle cry.
And so, brave men who put their lives and personal fortunes on the line, made a daring plan. They would break free from the yoke of England's unreasonable restraints and form a new government based upon, among other things, free enterprise and representation in government.
Who were these 56 men? They were not wild-eyed radicals, but educated, God-fearing men: merchants, gentlemen farmers, physicians, a minister--and many were lawyers. The Declaration of Independence is a masterpiece of human thought.
Fast forward a few years. There were some who dodged musket balls from behind rocks and trees in the Revolutionary War, so their loved ones could stay free.
In subsequent years, others fought from foxholes and trenches on frozen ground in Europe. They were regular people: factory workers, farm boys, teachers--perhaps your ancestors and mine. Wives and children became widows and fatherless because these men paid the ultimate sacrifice. They wanted us to be free from tyranny,
If you think our flag is just a piece of cloth and you can't understand why old men watching parades get teary-eyed when it passes by, while young people yawn and look bored--well, perhaps those old men are remembering their friends who died and the extreme privation they suffered so those of us living now could enjoy cookouts, fireworks and parades. It's all about sacrifice.
I was deeply impressed by a radio interview with Dave Roever (pronounced Reever), a highly-decorated Vietnam veteran who survived being blown up by a grenade at close range. As a victim of multiple life-changing injuries, he has chosen to minister to fellow soldiers who are coping with loss and even death.
Once, he was called upon to minister to an injured 19-year-old soldier who had only minutes to live. Roever's words were something like this: "Sir, this is not a hospital you are in; it's a sanctuary. And this is not a gurney you're lying on; it's an altar. From a grateful nation, I would like to say thank you."
Freedom comes with a price. Some have paid much, others less, but all our military personel have sacrificed so we can breathe free air.
If you are a military veteran, many thanks for your sacrifice.