I am a patriot.
Now that doesn’t mean I feel our country is the greatest nation in the world or any of that nonsense. We have our problems, and those problems are very real ones. I have often commented on the slow steady decrease of morality in our nation, I’m not all that happy with how our government runs and I think we have real cultural problems that need to be addressed. I don’t think that we are automatically better than anyone else, though I must concede that I’m glad I don’t live in Cuba or Iran. I think we have great things going for us, and I have little doubt that other countries do too.
Even with its problems and issues though, this is my home, and I would never want to live anywhere else. I always enjoy visiting other countries, but a big part of that enjoyment is knowing that I have my own to go home to.
So I want the best for this nation, and when I critique its people or culture or government, it is because of my deep love for it. I was a Boy Scout in the USA, I was student body president in the USA, I got married and had my children in the USA. I love my home, and would fight tooth and nail for her.
Today, Memorial Day, we remember those who have fought for our nation, especially those who have died doing so. For me, some of these were family. My great-great grandfather lost his leg in the civil war, but far deeper was the loss of his brother. My great uncle died the day the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. So much war to keep this land of the free, so much pain and death. Vietnam, Korea, Afghanistan, Kuwait, Iraq, and the list goes on. Good men are lost, and the cost is so high that I sometime wonder if its worth it.
I remember when my younger brother was in the Navy, I was so scared that he would be sent to the front lines, and I would never see him again. I love my brother so much, and I just can’t imagine how deep that loss would have been for me. I worried over his safety every day, and prayed that the Lord would let him come back home.
I know that it is worth it. I know that the protection of our country is deeply and immensely important. But I would be lying if I said that I thought it was no big deal. Quite the contrary, it breaks my heart every time I see a coffin draped with a flag.
I can see that I am just rambling about my feeling without coming to any real conclusion. I don’t really think there is a conclusion to come to. It’s hard, and that is what it is.
So for our brothers who have died in the defense of this nation, our home, I thank you, and I salute your bravery. Pray for us, we need your prayers.
For those who have been left alone, may God give you strength, and may you find support in those who love you and are near to you. May your sacrifice never be forgotten.
For those who are at home filled with worry over the ones they love being far from them, I cannot give you words that can console. I can give you my thanks for your heroic bravery, and thank you for sacrificing so much to protect my family.
And for those men and women out there serving, I salute you. Come back safe and sound, and with God’s speed.
“It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather, we should thank God that such men lived.” -General George Patton