Memorial Flag flown over the USS Arizona
As the United States of America dawns its 233rd year, I thought it fitting to take a moment and give honor to the country we love.
As some are cracking out the beer and BBQ, as some are readying their fireworks display, as some are whipping up their picnic salads, as some are watching parades… as some are strapping on their guns and body armor, as some are patrolling foreign shores, as some are weeping quietly and praying for their safety, as some are mourning the ones that will never return… I would like us to take a moment and think about this nation, and what it stands for.
So often in our lives we have begrudgingly stood, doffed our caps with hands over our hearts and recited a pledge taught to us in primary school. I wonder, how many have truly considered the honor it is to stand in freedom and say those words. My prayer this Fourth of July is that we can stop merely pledging and start practicing.
I PLEDGE …. a solemn promise, a binding oath, a formal vow taken with the knowledge of one’s responsibility
ALLIEGENCE… devotion, fidelity owed by a citizen to their government
to the FLAG… the visible representation, the distinctive symbol of our Nation; representing the freedoms and rights guaranteed to its citizens. Its colors standing for purity, innocence, bravery, sacrifice, vigilance and justice: the cornerstones of our society.
of the United States of America … a confederation of sovereign states united to protect a shared vision of self evident truths: that all mankind is created equal and endowed by God with the unalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
and to the republic… a government in which supreme power resides in its citizens and is exercised by elected officers responsible and governing according to laws approved by those citizens.
for which it stands… the values and freedoms that we as a united nation will die to protect
One Nation… One Nation means “… malice toward none, with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation’s wounds; to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan – to do all which may achieve and cherish a just, and a lasting, peace, among ourselves…” Abraham Lincoln
Under God… “”It is the duty of nations as well as of men to own their dependence upon the overruling power of God… and to recognize the sublime truth, announced in Holy Scripture, and proven by all history, that those nations only are blessed whose God is the Lord.”
“That this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.” Abraham Lincoln
Indivisible…the union of states is incapable of undergoing division: discussion absolutely, disagreement certainly, but division impossible.
With Liberty… the state of being free and enjoying social, political, and economic rights and privileges: The power of choice.
“Give me your tired, your poor,/ Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,/ The wretched refuse of your teeming shore./ Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,/ I lift my lamp beside the golden door!” Emma Lazarus, American Poet, engraved on the Statue of Liberty.
and Justice… what is right, fair, appropriate and deserved
FOR ALL! …The United States of America and the freedoms she holds dear is our birthright, no matter creed, color or religion.
As I sit and pray for my husband who is defending this great nation on foreign soil once again, I realize that with great gifts come great responsibility and sacrifice. There are thousands right now who are defending our freedom with life, limb and time. They have been called upon, by this nation, to defend her life and liberty; you and me. Let us do our part to support them…
…until the last one comes home.