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Freedom's Price

Flag Day occurs Tuesday, June 14th. Most small towns fly Old Glory that day, in honor of the freedom it is intended to represent.

Would you allow me to detour for a moment? Let’s step outside the box and consider why we celebrate Flag Day in the first place.

Colonies of settlers in America struggled in the years prior to 1776. They paid heavy taxes for goods shipped from the mother country, England, yet were not allowed to have a say in the government of their own land. “Taxation without representation” became their battle cry.

Brave men risked their lives and personal fortunes in a daring plan. They would break free from the yoke of England’s unreasonable restraints and form a new government based upon, 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. Their Declaration of Independence is a masterpiece of human thought.

Fast forward a few years. During the resulting Revolutionary War, men crouched behind trees and rocks and dodged musket balls so their loved ones could stay free.

Later, others fought from foxholes and trenches on frozen ground or in sweltering desert and jungle conditions in subsequent wars around the world. They were regular people—factory workers, teachers, farmers—even future politicians, perhaps your relatives and mine. Their families became one-parent households because they paid the ultimate sacrifice. They wanted us to be free from tyranny.

Some think our flag is just a piece of cloth. They can’t understand why old men watching patriotic parades stand still and salute or get teary-eyed when the flag passes by—while young people yawn and look at their phones.

Perhaps those military veterans are remembering the extreme privation they underwent so those of us living now could enjoy cookouts, fireworks and parades. It’s all about sacrifice.

Dave Roever (pronounced Reever) a highly decorated Vietnam war veteran, survived being blown up by a grenade. In a radio interview he related his life goal now is ministering to fellow soldiers coping with loss and even death.

Once, Roever stood by the side of a 19-year-old soldier who had only minutes to live. He said 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 paid with their lives, yet all our military personnel sacrificed so we can breathe free. If you are a veteran, many thanks for your sacrifice. Fly our American flag proudly this Flag Day.

Your turn. Any veterans you would like to thank? Use the comment box below.


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