Ronald Reagan said, "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."
A mentor of mine, and true advocate of freedom, uses the first sentence of that quote all the time. And he's right.
I watched Brigham's Veteran's Day program at school on Friday. The fourth graders have been working for weeks. Missed recesses, late lunches, all to make this program fantastic. And it was. I was teary-eyed 80% of the time. It was the combination of children, beautiful music, patriotic music, and the spirit of freedom. You could feel something in that room. Innocence and truth.
Brigham has always been my soldier. His passion, books, sketches, clothing--all revolve around the armed forces. This program was so important to him. I received daily updates on its progress. He would sing the songs at home (which is a miracle in itself). I want to keep this spirit VIBRANT in him. I know it will serve him well. My little patriot.
I think the majority of people think we're truly free. Of course, we are largely free compared with so many other countries, but little by little the awareness of what true freedom is, is slipping away. We are giving it away in our ignorance. We put the protection of these freedoms in the hands of elected officials and move on. Unfortunately, we have too many politicians and not enough statesmen. We all feel tremendous pride in our country on patriotic holidays, but what about every other day of the year? What are we doing to make sure we have more to celebrate than just the courage of our past, our founding. What about our present, our future? The more I learn about freedom, the more empowered I feel. It's all about educating ourselves and doing something about it, no matter how small that contribution may seem. All of us can take baby steps, right?
Needless to say, I was enthusiatic to salute our veterans. We had a handful of elderly gentlemen come to the front of the gym. The children sang a song of gratitude and thanks for their sacrifice. We all stood . . . and cried. Those men looked noble, even those hunched over with age. Bless them all.