It is July 4th and I feel the need to address the issue of our independence. A copy of the document that our founding fathers signed on this day in 1776 hangs on a wall in my house. I can see it from where I sit. Some years ago, I had the opportunity to see the original. It is a very large document befitting its importance. Without this Declaration of Independence, all the rest of the documents that gave the outline for this Republic could very well have not been written and this country might never have been established.
Why am I telling you this? I guess it is because my heart is heavy for us as a nation. I speak from opinion only as is my right to do. I feel as though we have lost our way. Demanding the right to act and speak any way we want has become more important than guarding the responsibility of freedom granted to us by a Holy God. Character assassination has become the rule for those who dare to oppose one’s position. In short, we are a spoiled society led by leaders who are there to serve the interests of those to whom they are beholden. I do not accuse all leadership of selfish avarice. There are some who act with their God and country’s interest at heart. They are, however, in the minority and their numbers are shrinking. Given all of this, I wonder what kind of country we will be in the future. I fear for my descendants.
Every once in awhile (and particularly on national patriotic holidays) the country rolls out the red carpet to honor our heroes and thank our veterans. I suppose it is an appropriate thing to do though I have never been to one of those events and I won’t go. I don’t need the attention. Instead, on this 4th of July 2011, I will take a different approach.
Thank you to a Holy God who allowed me to be born and raised in this country to parents who taught me patriotism. Thank you to the U.S. Army who gave me the discipline and structure I needed. Thank you for all the years I got to spend in uniform. They were the best years of my life. Thanks again to the Army for assigning Karen Landgraf near me (she too, was a soldier) so I could meet her and marry her. (There is an old saying, “If the Army wanted you to have a wife, they would’ve issued you one.” Well, they did!) Thank you, Karen, for giving us three spectacular children. You have been the glue to this family. My love for you is without limit.
Thank you to my children. It is an honor and privilege to be your Dad. You too also have seen the need to serve your country; Jennifer in the Air Force Reserve and John in the Army Reserve. As I write, James is in boot camp in the Army. At the appropriate time, he too will become a veteran. I am blessed beyond measure. We will be five veterans in the same household.
So, it is I who should thank you.
Thank you, America.