Thank those who gave you your freedomsPublished 12:07am Sunday, May 26, 2013
It’s no wonder that some groups in foreign countries dislike America. We get a little cocky sometimes and for good reason.
Our country is a great one and our citizens are allowed a myriad of freedoms, many of which are not guaranteed in other parts of the world.
Think about it.
Some of the tenets of our country involve individual freedoms — the freedom to say what you want, worship whomever you want and arm yourself how you want.
Most of those freedoms are guaranteed in the Bill of Rights to the U.S. Constitution.
Having such personal freedoms makes it easy for Americans to simply take them for granted.
A simple e-mail sent to me by a reader last week made me pause and consider how much we just “assume” we have by divine right and how just a few words can put it all back in perspective.
Here’s an excerpt of the e-mail, the author is unknown to me:
It is the veteran, not the preacher, who has given us freedom of religion.
It is the veteran not the reporter, who has given us freedom of the press.
It is the veteran not the poet, who has given us freedom of speech.
It is the veteran not the campus organizer, who has given us freedom to assemble.
It is the veteran not the lawyer, who has given us the right to a fair trial.
It is the veteran not the politician, who has given us the right to vote.
The words would have even more meaning if we insert the word “fallen” in front of the word “veteran.”
For we all truly owe so much to the fallen veterans — those who gave everything for generations of strangers whose only bonds are being Americans.
How often do we go through our daily lives and forget to say, “Thanks” to all of the men and women who served our country and died in the process?
The answer is far too often.
Tomorrow, our nation pauses to pay our collective respects to the men and women who fought and died for our country.
America wouldn’t be the same were it not for our strong military and even stronger core values to which we hold so dear.
No place, perhaps, are those values seen evident than in how our military works.
Our volunteer military fights on behalf of all of us — even those who criticize the government and even ridicule the military.
They fight — and die — to protect the freedoms we all have — even the freedoms that are used and exercised in ways that may make us uncomfortable.
If you’ve never done so, I urge you to drive out to the Natchez National Cemetery and walk through the rows and rows of neatly kept headstones and say, “Thank you,” to all of the folks who died to keep us free.
I hope each of you has a happy, blessed Memorial Day.
Kevin Cooper is publisher of The Natchez Democrat. He can be reached at 601-445-3539 or firstname.lastname@example.org.