I wake up to a new day with hope for all it will bring.
I open a cabinet full of food that I may or may not eat.
I survey a closet full of clothes and mull over which shirt or shoes to wear.
I drive my car, not my husband’s truck or my son’s truck, but MY car.
I take my children to a school where they not only learn to read and to write but also to make their own decisions, to socialize with their peers, to laugh, to get mad, to flourish, to fail.
I earn a paycheck at two jobs of my own choosing. I can be late. I can be on time. I can work overtime. I can speak freely. I can advance. I can quit.
I attend a church without fear, without looking over my shoulder, without sneaking into dark corridors.
I can share my faith with a stranger openly, loudly, boldly. That stranger can refute my faith openly, loudly, boldly and we can both return peaceably to our homes.
I can drink clean water. I can buy junk food. I can throw away bags and bags of clothes that no longer suit me. I can hug my children. I can go to the movies with my husband. I can sing praises to my God. I can shout at bad drivers.
I can do all these things and so much more because I am free – not of my own accord, no. I am free because someone paid a price for my freedom, someone who did not even know me but who believed that I should be free to live as I choose and to believe as I choose.
You see, freedom is not free but I live as if it were. I throw away this priceless gift each day while men and women give their lives to protect it. Oh, how I take this freedom for granted and then I worry when I think it might be lost or waning. But there is no need to fear for that someone who paid the price for my freedom, those courageous and selfless men and women in our armed forces will continue to fight even if all I do is throw it away.
Freedom is not free. Someone has to pay the price. I thank God for the Purchasers and Protectors of our Freedom. I thank you, Veterans and members of the armed forces, for believing with all of your hearts, souls and lives that freedom is worth the price.