Pondering

America is Land of the Free, Because of the Brave. My ‘thank you’ to those who made it so.

Heavy bomber crewman, U.S. Army Air Force, World War 2. Photo from Legacy Flight Museum in Rexford, Idaho by James Ulvog.

Our freedom is under rapidly increasing assault by many politicians who think they are kings and queens appointed by divine right instead of having merely won a few more percentage points of the vote than their opponent in the last election.  In the last year public health officials at the federal, state, and county levels who lack self-awareness of how often they beclown themselves have joined in the efforts to shred our liberty.

As a result of these attacks, it is ever more important that on this Memorial Day we remember those who shed all their blood so that we may be free.

A ‘thank you’ from me is so trivial, yet that is all I have.

I will demonstrate my appreciation for freedom purchased by others by exercising freedom.

Yesterday I exercised my freedom of religion. Tomorrow I will exercise my economic freedom, also called pursuit of happiness, by running my business the way I choose.

I have posted variations of the following ideas several times before.  I will continue to make these points routinely.

Those of us living in the United States are blessed with religious freedom, political freedom, and economic freedom because those who went before us fought for freedom.

Infantry soldier in winter combat uniform, U.S. Army, Korean War, 1950 to 1953. Photo from Legacy Flight Museum in Rexford, Idaho by James Ulvog.

Many of those fighting offered up their life for freedom and the offer was accepted. They paid the tab for our liberty with the currency of their blood.

I am humbled and grateful to God that some of my ancestors are included in the long list of those who fought. I am especially humbled that a great, great grand-uncle is in the list of those who died in the defense of freedom and the effort to crush slavery. His brother (my direct ancestor) also fought and was wounded.

Several uncles and a grand-uncle fought in World War II. Two were seriously wounded. Multiple cousins have borne arms. 

During the Cold War, my dad navigated an interceptor to fend off Soviet bombers and I had launch keys which had a tiny part in keeping the Evil Empire at bay. Neither my dad nor I had to actually fight, merely stand ready to do so. We played such a minor part.

So many others fought. So many paid the ultimate price.

Infantry private, U.S. Army, Desert Storm, 1991. Photo from Legacy Flight Museum in Rexford, Idaho by James Ulvog.

Because of the sacrifice of so many who picked up the tab, I get to enjoy this kind of freedom:

  • Worship God with the preaching, structure of worship, and giving glory to God in the way we believe is appropriate, free of any government official telling us what to believe and say (that is free exercise of religion, which has been under such severe, direct, and sustained attack over the last year).
  • I teach a bible study explaining the bible in the way we believe it ought to be interpreted (again free expression).
  • Wrote blog posts Saturday, yesterday, and today on topics I wish without any government official censoring me or telling me what I cannot say (that is freedom of speech).
  • Wrote over 330 blog posts since the pandemic began on topics of interest to me (that is freedom of speech).
  • Of those blog posts, over 130 have pointed out the foolishness and destructive consequences of the economic shutdown and the crushing impact of those actions on economic, political, and religious freedom (right to petition for redress of grievances and freedom of speech).
  • Have publish seven books over the years on topics of interest to me (that is freedom of the press and freedom of speech).
  • Read internet articles, twitter posts, and books from opinionated writers or try-to-be-objective historians without the government screening for disapproved content (that is freedom of speech and pursuit of happiness).
  • Own a small business, run it as I see fit (subject to appropriate regulatory rules that set the basic requirements for conducting a CPA firm), working today (a holiday) for several hours because I feel like it (that is economic freedom and natural right of pursuit of happiness).

That is what freedom looks like, exercised in the way I wish.

All of that is my thank you to those who bought our freedom.

I shall continue to live as if those freedoms matter, because they do.

25th Infantry soldier, U.S. Army, Desert Camouflage Uniform, 1992 to 2006. Photo from Legacy Flight Museum in Rexford, Idaho by James Ulvog.

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