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Wednesday, July 4, 2012

The Patriotic Geek

I wouldn't want to sound all "preachy" about July 4th, but I do have a few thoughts to share this Independence Day.

Whether it is Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter or any other major holiday, it always seems like we gently over time, lose sight of the spirit and meaning behind them.  Not with any trace of malice; it is merely the slipping of time.  I believe that Independence day falls into that category.

How great of a sacrifice did those who have passed before us?  Can we treat so lightly the precious freedoms that were bought with the blood and bravery of patriots, both past and present?

I had the privilege recently of speaking to a veteran at a birthday party that my oldest son was invited to.  While the kids were going crazy with the water, I was sitting down with the adults.  The Grandpa of the birthday girl had mentioned to someone else about serving in Vietnam.  I decided to strike up a conversation with the man.  What an experience.

I told him first, on behalf of many, I wanted to say thank you for what he had done.  I and another gentleman who was also currently in the military, began talking with him about what he had experienced.  He said that he had enlisted instead of being drafted and started telling us about some of the harrowing experiences that he experienced while he was serving.  I  can only begin to imagine how I may have felt in his shoes.

He then got to a point in his narrative where strangely tears began to well up in his eyes.  He spoke of returning back from the war and receiving warning from his fellow soldiers.  They told him to be careful at the airport, because there may be some that would spit on him in protest.

He revealed that his life and the life of others were forever changed by their experiences.  To this day, he said he does not get much sleep and regularly is up surveying the area around his house, almost as if he were back in the conflict again.

To everyone like this precious man and their families who have and continue to buy the freedom I enjoy; Thank you!  I could never repay you enough in word or deed for the sacrifices you have made.  I simply pledge not to ever take these freedoms for granted.  I pray that you won't either.

I leave you with two things.

First, a video that I put together for a patriotic themed event that we had as an outreach a few years ago.

Secondly, the following quote from Samuel Adams:

"The liberties of our country, the freedom of our civil Constitution, are worth defending at all hazards; and it is our duty to defend them against all attacks. We have received them as a fair inheritance from our worthy ancestors: they purchased them for us with toil and danger and expense of treasure and blood, and transmitted them to us with care and diligence. It will bring an everlasting mark of infamy on the present generation, enlightened as it is, if we should suffer them to be wrested from us by violence without a struggle, or to be cheated out of them by the artifices of false and designing men."


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