Today, 11/11 is Veterans Day. I want to honor all of the brave men and women who have served our nation, both young and old. I also want to remember those who gave ALL so that we can live in a nation that is free. They sacrificed so that we and our children can live in a land that is free.
I fear that we, who live and enjoy the freedoms that our veterans sacrificed their lives (or years of their lives) for, may have forgotten and taken for granted the gift we have been given.
As I’ve watched our nation respond or should I say “react” to the results of our national election I see our young citizens burning our flag, chanting hate against our land and rejecting the results of our freedom as a nation to vote. Though it is true that they are exercising their freedom to disagree, to protest and to make their voices heard but there should be honor and integrity in practicing our freedom.
Maybe the freedoms we enjoy have made life too easy and we haven’t truly understood the privilege of living in a nation that is free. Our freedom was paid for by generations of men and women who fought valiantly for it. Many died for what that flag that they are tearing and burning stand for. Many, throughout the world, have prayed and wept for the freedoms that we live in and enjoy.
My 24-year old relative, Ralph Cheli (Cheli is my maiden name), was a WWII recipient of the Medal of Honor after sacrificing his life to carry out a mission he was leading. He saved his entire battalion and was executed as a POW. He is just one of many.
He was only 24 years old. That is close to the ages of my sons. I cannot imagine the grief and sacrifice that his father and mother must have felt when their young son gave his life to protect our nation; this home of the free and the brave.
We are free but will we be brave? Will we be courageous enough to walk in the integrity and honor that represents the brave who fought and still fight for our freedom? Most of us did not earn it, others paid the price for us.
This is not about the man who has been elected as our next president, it is about our nation, our land and honoring the gift we have been given. The gift that many died for. When I see an army of young people protesting with the most vile words and acts, I can’t help but think of the price that people like Ralph Cheli paid. He is just one of many. They fought and died with honor and when we disagree or exercise our freedom, we too must do it with honor.
If we are going to stand up for love then let’s remember what love truly looks like.
“My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down oneʼs life for oneʼs friends.”
Love is not selfish, it does not act unbecomingly. We are the recipients of a great gift and that gift is called freedom. It has been given to us by God and by those who have fought and served our great nation.
Today, let us act in a way that honors God (one nation under God) and let us respond in ways that honor our veterans. Most of all let us remember what true love looks like,
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”
1 Corinthians 13:4-7
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