For this week, just another day in the life of an American girl, we come to a flourishing finish of the things we take for granted. As the things we cherish --- Life, Liberty, the Pursuit of Happiness -- witnessed time and time again, can be swept out of our arms in a heart beat.
We go about our lives, during the wee hours of the 21st century, hardly taking a moment to keep our liberties in check, our freedoms understood, along side the various things only prosperity can bring. As a country, as a nation of people of great faith, we have created the very conditions to grow family and fortune without prejudice.
But above all, the greatest duty arose from the powers of Congress and our leadership, to protect everything and everyone within our borders -- by force, if we have to.
And ever since, a Force for Good was written into the cornerstone, lasting as a permanent fixture upon which this land was made and saved and honored. Memorial Day is merely one day, out of 365, that we set aside to give thanks to those who have served and have given their life for us.
The day is also known as "Decoration Day" -- and with that, let us pause to make a mental note of how wearing our memorial day has grown more for show over substance. Do we stop ourselves, whether at the BBQ or beach [recognizing news just out today that my hometown, is home to the #2 beach in the world -- in Coronado], to recognize our inherent duty and delight that protecting our freedom brings? Or have we long grown unaware, unaffected, ungrateful or forgetful of the force behind our good? After all, after awhile, life begins to hum along so easily, overwhelmed by our own delight, forsaking our duty becomes almost natural.
We can keep up appearances for quite some time, but eventually, everything falls back to substance -- doesn't it?
Sadly, we have grown accustomed to our superficiality in nearly every aspect of life -- unless perhaps you are lucky enough to live somewhere where God and Country still reign high on the list of priorities (thinking Joplin as just one stellar example).
The thing is, a strong military isn't just something a country throws on just before heading out for the parade -- it is the single most important element of our federal government's duties and responsibilities (granted, the one thing we are absolutely supposed to pay for and sustain).
And for the most part, it has been fully and successfully, managed, operated and upheld, solely by volunteers. Patriots -- fellow Americans willing to give their life, and give everything of themselves, to protect our liberties; and not only defending America, but around the globe -- no matter where the call, no matter what the duty -- self-assured, having not a doubt in the world of their capabilities. Soldiers, band together, and take up arms, to save something greater than themselves. [And they are so handsome to boot!...oops, but I digress...]
And what do they do: oh just a little Freedom saving ... Liberty bell ringing...protecting, basically, all the things our lucky stars take for granted... To police a safe and democratic election. To stabilize a budding democratic government. To save a people from genocide, To protect a land. To honor and hold accountable a nation's security. To stand up to repression, oppression and the works of tyrants. To bring water and aid. To defend borders, agreements, whether by armistice or by hand shake. To fight to the death, if they must. And finally, to simply reign by reputation just knowing they are there -- on the ready -- winning a war that never needed to be fought in the first place; fully recognizing that just by reputation, association, organization and sheer might, America defends herself and has frightened away countries and armies who might try.
Memorial Day is that kind of day.
What we take for granted becomes the thing we must never forget. This military, this protection, the defending of something intangible to the naked eye, should be our primary concern every single day.
Which ties into something else I read this morning...upon the news of discovering a "missing mass" in the galaxy.
"Whenever I speak to people who have influence, politicians and so on, they sometimes ask me 'Why should I invest in physics pure research?'. And I sometimes say to them: 'Do you use a mobile phone? Some of that technology came about by black hole research'.
"The pure research has knock-on effects to the whole society which are sometimes difficult to anticipate."
We just go about our day, using our I-phones and being able to log onto Bing! in a nanosecond, and nobody seems to care about a thing. It's done. We connect. We live. We prosper. And all along the day we pick up that fancy new thing-a-ma-jig, decorated with crystals and in our favorite color, just expecting it to work. Far from our minds is what it took to get there...to be able to talk to anyone, anytime, (almost) anywhere (can you hear me now?).
By the way, regarding that "missing mass" -- "a 22-year-old Australian university student has solved a problem which has puzzled astrophysicists for decades....Undergraduate Amelia Fraser-McKelvie made the breakthrough during a holiday internship with a team at Monash University's School of Physics..." wonders never cease.
And did you know that Commander Kelly gets to talk to his wife everyday from space?
As we continue to revel in new discoveries, and innovation, and science, let us not forget the things which truly matter in the great scheme of life and the protection of a country -- for these are the things fundamental.
Brigitte Gabriel, who had to leave a home country, Lebanon, after her homeland was attacked by radicalized Muslim extremists, eventually found her way to America. She has created Act! for America.org as her way to give back to her new found homeland, as a way to reinforce America's stance and actions around the globe, waging a war against terrorism. She knows terrorism first hand -- from a memory dating back to her childhood, to a time when her parents were killed, to a time when she had to flee everything she ever loved.
Today, she responds to the holiday with a special grace and charm, saying:
"Words tremble on my lips and emotions swell in my heart in my attempt to humbly thank you for all the things you do to protect America and the world. Words cannot express my depth of gratitude for your service, for your sacrifice, for all that you leave behind to go forth into the world and protect America’s interests around the globe.
Let my grateful words thank you for the nights you slept freezing in a tent or sweating in the desert, for the lonely days you spent missing your loved ones, for the hours you spent sick in pain and without someone holding your hand, for the moments of sheer fright in the heat of battle, for the wounds you have suffered fighting evil, for the endless days in hospitals undergoing painful surgeries, for the precious occasions you have missed back at home. For all of these sacrifices I thank you on behalf of millions of Americans who are so grateful for you. We truly appreciate these sacrifices.
A special thank-you is in order to your families, to the parents who raised you and made you be the man or woman you are today. I thank your wives, husbands, and your loved ones who stand by you and support you with their love and dedication.
And for those who returned in eternal sleep, may their legacy be honored for generations to come, may the tears shed over their coffins fertilize the fields of patriotism in our nation to raise a new generation built on strength and honor, able and willing to follow in their footsteps when duty calls to defend America. May their blood not have been shed in vain. May we prove worthy of their sacrifice.
You who have served and are serving are our brave ones, our heroes, and our national treasures. You are the pride of our nation, our strength and our foundation. Thanks to you, millions have been freed around the world. Thanks to you, those who criticize our country, burn our precious flag, and speak ill of you, are able to do so because their freedom is built upon your blood and your sacrifice.
I salute you one and all. I bow before you in respect and humility. May God bless you and bless America, land of the free and home of the brave, and the dream that became my address."
...to "the dream that became my address" need I say more. nope.
...at least, not without my own last two cents anyway...
Make it a Good Day, G
speaking of defending our borders and agreements...have you been party to receiving this roaming email:
Dear President Obama:
I am writing today with a somewhat unusual request. First and foremost, I will be asking that you return America to its August 20th, 1959 borders so that Hawaii is no longer a state and you are no longer a citizen.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
Fear not -- all is not lost -- as clearly, we still have a wicked sense of humor. bravo tango charlie.