Tuesday is Veteran’s Day, and if you’ve ever read anything I’ve written, I would hope you know we not only celebrate, we take the time to reflect and be thankful for our freedom on Veteran’s Day.
There are a lot of things wrong in the world right now, specifically with our government and state of the country, but things that are right and true we can attribute to those who were and still are brave enough to sacrifice all for our freedoms — and thank them.
Freedom means different things to different people. Some people think living in a free country gives them the right to be ridiculous, some think it gives them the right to be mean, and some don’t appreciate it enough to think it gives them the right to do anything. Of the three, the apathetic are the most dangerous. If you don’t care enough to care, you cease being an integral part of whatever it is you’re involved in, and become an obstacle to it, instead of a building block for it.
I read a story a couple months ago about a small city (in America, mind you) in which the officials were insisting a Korean War veteran remove his American flag from plain sight, because his neighbors were offended by it. The story bugged me so bad, I couldn’t be quiet. I couldn’t let it go, because I cared. So yeah, I stuck my nose in and wrote a scathing letter, and I wasn’t the only one. As you can imagine, there was public outrage, and there should have been. Instead of making the guy remove his flag, there’s going to be a court battle and money will have to be spent and lines will be drawn and yaddah yaddah yaddah. It breaks my heart that a lawyer and a judge are going to be necessary to tell someone what they can do with their American flag in America, so I have to grasp at the positive thought that the guy loves his flag and respects his right to fly it enough to enter the fray and fight. Again. He went to Korea and came back alive for those rights. He cares.
As I get older, there seem to be a lot of things that offend me. Twerking, a bumper-sticker-festooned Prius lollygagging in the hammer lane and Kim Kardashian are three that come to mind immediately. The entire state of California makes me itch, but I’m not taking anyone to court over it, even though I’m pretty sure I could find a lawyer on a billboard in Texas to take the case. I’d prefer to remain apathetic towards these things, and maybe, if enough people cease to care, Kim Kardashian will quit making scads of money for doing absolutely nothing.
We are assured by the United States Declaration of Independence “that all men are created equal and endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” Many men and women have died protecting those rights, and we can’t forget the almost silent number of soldiers who are still away from their families, making sure an idea we have clung to as a Nation for more than two hundred years is upheld.
“Only in America” has become a phrase that isn’t nearly as positive as it used to be. Instead of inspiring pride, the words are used to punctuate an eye roll, and you know what? That’s fine. Try twerking in North Korea and see where it gets ya. You damn right I can twerk (if I happen to obtain a massive head injury and forget who I am), and I can do it because in America we have a fully voluntary military who care enough to put their ass on the line for me, and I’m thankful for it.
Thank a vet today and Tuesday. Hell, thank one every day. I make it a point to extend my thanks to anyone I meet who has served and more people should, and yeah – I’m going to say it. God bless America.