Memorial Day: Remembering Our Freedom

Earlier today one of my friends posted about her granddaughter on Facebook.  The lovely, little 6 year old girl had defined Memorial Day as a day to remember our freedom.  She went on to write “freedom to play outside.” This struck a chord deep within me and inspired this hastily put together blog post.

I do not know if young S has any idea of what a profound concept she touched.  Freedom to play outside.  On the surface the statement brings a smile.  It’s a beautiful testimony to the simplicity to play outside. I dug a little deeper though and brought tears to my own eyes.

Freedom to play outside means freedom from fear.  My children are free to play outside without fear that they will be shot by enemy rifles or caught in the crossfire of “friendly” gunman.  My children are free to play outside without the constant fear that they will be snatched to be sold as part of the human trade.

There are children around the world who live in fear.  They do not have the freedom to play outside.  Perhaps they do not even have the freedom to complain about not being able to play outside.

(As a side note, I realize that even here in the United States, some children can not play outside with fear.  Gangs, drug wars, violent crime isn’t just related to wars and terrorists.)

Most of the time when I think of memorial day and freedom I think of the “big” things like the freedom to say what I want, like here on my blog or the freedom to practice my religion. I don’t always think about the privileges I enjoy as a “free American citizen” such as the freedom to choose which method of education I want for my children.

Today I remember John Burke, my ancestor (I do not know how many greats to put in front of grandfather!) who fought for the right of Americans to govern themselves in the Revolutionary War.  I think of Woodrow and Elmo, my grandfathers who served in the Navy during World War II.  Though they did not sacrifice their life, they did serve so that Americans would be free from fear of invasion.

Thank you to all who have served; who have sacrificed in one way or another whether in the military or in law enforcement keeping us safe and free from fear.  Thank you to the spouses, children, parents, siblings, and loved ones who support the solider, the seaman, the airman, the police officer, the fireman. I know the fear and the worry that comes with knowing your loved one is putting his or her life on the line.  THANK YOU.

What freedom are you especially thankful for today? 


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