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Speakers on for America the Beautiful

 

Freedom is Not Free


Freedom is Not Free

I watched the flag pass by one day
It fluttered in the breeze
A young marine saluted it
And then he stood at ease

I looked at him in uniform
So young, so tall, so proud
With hair cut square and eyes alert
He'd stand out in any crowd

 





I wondered how many men like him
Have fallen through the years?
How many died on foreign soil?
How many Mother's tears?

How many pilots' planes shot down?
How many died at sea?
How many foxholes were soldiers' graves?
No, Freedom is not Free.

I heard the sound of Taps one night
When everything was still
I listened to the bugler play
And felt a sudden chill





I wondered just how many times
Taps had meant "Amen"
When a flag had covered a coffin
Of a brother or a friend

I thought of all the children
of the Mothers and the Wives
Of Fathers, Sons, and Husbands
With interrupted lives

And I thought about the graveyard
At the bottom of the sea
Of unmarked graves in Arlington
No, Freedom is not Free.

written by Kelly Strong

 

Music by Margi Harrell
"American the Beautiful"

 

 

Veterans Day Every Day
by J. Randolph Evans
Veterans Day Every Day
J. Randolph Evans

Column No. 1094 (11/11/11)

The United States Department of Veterans Affairs says this on its
website (at
http://www.va.gov/opa/vetsday/):

The Veterans Day National Ceremony is held each year on November 11th at Arlington National Cemetery. The ceremony commencesprecisely at 11:00 a.m. with a wreath laying at the Tomb of the Unknownsand continues inside the Memorial Amphitheater with a parade of colorsby veterans' organizations and remarks from dignitaries. The ceremony is intended to honor and thank all who served in the United States Armed Forces.

Somewhere,  the "honor and thank all who served in the United States Armed Forces" got translated into a few idle words of passing admiration with little actual action and almost no passion.  This is a country that owes so much to so few.

For generations, men and women have stepped up and defended the United States of America.  They stormed the beaches at Normandy and waded through the jungles of Vietnam.  They took out the terrorists in Afghanistan and liberated Iraq. They have never asked for much in return.  Instead, they serve because they love this country. 

Yet, in today's world, a worrisome question looms - is it shared love, or has it become a relationship that has moved into the passionless realm of "taken for granted?"  Admittedly, there are many who line up at ceremonies to proclaim their love, honor, and respect for America with zeal and passion.  But, is it real, or have these become just lifeless words unsupported by actions?

Students riot over the dismissal of a head football coach amidst the charges arising out of inappropriate and illegal contact involving minors.  Fans give up Saturday afternoons to weather long traffic delays to sit in a stadium for hours to support a team. 

The faithful put magnets on the sides of cars, bumper stickers on the bumpers, and flags on the windows.  The zealous proudly sing every word of a fight song.

These are the actions giving substance to words of undying loyalty and support.  Where are those signs of love, honor and respect for this country, or have they fallen by the wayside when it comes to honoring those Americans who have earned it the most? 

President Ronald Reagan once warned:

Freedom is never more than one generation away from
extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It
must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it was once like in the United States where menwere free.

There is no limit to the ways that Americans can back up words of love, honor, and respect with actions.  One way is to attend a Memorial Service honoring America's real life heroes.  

There are many others.  They all involve instilling in the next
generation the fundamentals of love, honor and respect.   It is actually not that complicated or difficult. 

Mostly, it involves one simple concept: be a fan (a real fan) of the
United States. Learn her history in the same way as the starting
line-ups.  Read the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States. 

When the Star Spangled Banner is played, stand up and sing it.  See a soldier - thank them - again, again and again.  Treat them like they just scored the winning touchdown in a big game.  After all, they are playing in the biggest game on the planet Earth - defending the United States of America.

Say the Pledge of Allegiance AND salute the flag at the same time.
Don't grumble or mumble.  Recognize and accept that it is a pledge of loyalty to our country. 

Be a proud American.  Display her colors and her flag.  Say good things about her.  Defend her from accusation or attack.  Support her against all enemies - domestic or foreign.

Remember her defenders.  Learn the name of one person that died for her and honor them.  They deserve it.

When the United States of America is mentioned, or the flag is unfurled, or America's story is told, stand a little taller.  She is a great country.  She offers the best hope for freedom and liberty around the world. 

On November 1, 2011, Margaret (last name not important) went to one of the 14,100 graves at the Marietta National Cemetery and left one flower on the grave of one soldier.  It was not Veterans Day.  But, it was an act of love, honor, and respect.  

Love, honor, and respect is so much more than just a ceremony.   It is about remembering what this country represents, who Americans are, and how it survives today.  It all starts with honoring in words and actions the men and women who made it all possible. 

Webmaster's note:  Randy Evans has been active in the leadership of the GA Republican Party for many years. He currently serves as GA National Committeeman to the RNC




 

Bettye Chambers, Webmaster
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