I’m a little late getting my post out today, since I’m getting our house ready for Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow. I know it’s early, but I happen to have grown up in Wisconsin and married a Wisconsin hunter. We sired a Wisconsin son and the two of them have kept the Wisconsin tradition of hunting only during Thanksgiving week for 40 some years.
I really don’t understand who decided that it was a good idea to spend Thanksgiving in the cold, wet, often times snow covered forest in search of the elusive white tail. I imagine that deer is having a sumptuous feast of his own and is spending time with his family.
I’ve gotten used to this tradition. Last year I spent the week in South Carolina with my daughter and her family, which was delightful, but I digress. Our early celebration of the Thanksgiving holiday right about the time of Veteran’s day, caused me to pull my Veteran’s Day Post from last year, so I can get back to baking, cleaning, etc. Here’s my offering. To all who have sacrificed their lives for others, I truly give thanks.
In the beginning of our country’s existence, a rag tag army of farmers and tradesmen went up against the most powerful fighting force in the world and gained its freedom. Throughout our history the cost of war has been well over a million souls. Today we honor those who have served their country and returned home to waiting arms, anxious spouses and children and often times no jobs, no gratitude for their service and little help in regaining the life they left behind. To be a veteran should be one of the greatest honors from your fellow citizens, those you fought to defend us and to make the world a better place, but is it?
During the Civil War, about 500,000 lives were lost – the greatest losses ever in America’s past. Brothers fought brothers and families were broken apart because of differences in opinions. Today, we seem to be in the midst of another civil war. Instead of being united as a nation, we have been inundated with sometimes violent protesting, ugly words of hatred and so much more.
I beg that we can take time today and I hope every day to thank those who were willing to put their lives on the line in defense of this great nation. It’s the perfect day to put aside our political differences and express that feeling to those heroes.
Many suffer from PTSD, lost limbs, lost jobs and income. Lives have been disrupted by their service. Many families have been destroyed by mental problems, behavior changes and even divorce. Somehow our veterans seem to suffer more when they return home from war than they did while engaging in battle.
Thanking them for their service is one way to show appreciation, but there is so much more we can do. I often wonder how those who protect and serve feel when they see the political unrest in our nation. We can do more damage to our country from within than we ever will see on the field of battle elsewhere. The Civil War was an example of just that kind of destruction.
There are times we may think there is no longer any sanity regarding politics, government or civil dissension, but we still have the right to speak our mind and the freedom to address our feelings. Peaceful protest in itself is good, but the minute it becomes violent, it has destroyed the freedom of others.
As a believer in God, I have faith that the words of the Bible are true. It shows us our sin and declares our salvation through God’s love for us. We aren’t worth that kind of sacrifice, but God thinks otherwise.
“Greater love has no man than this; that he lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:13
Today can begin the renewal of a distracted nation. Set aside your differences and think for a moment the cost of your freedom and those who fought to preserve it. Also thank God for allowing us to live in a country that still respects the rights of its citizens.
“Within the covers of the Bible are the answers for all the problems men face.” Ronald Reagan