If you are an American, today is your birthday. America is 234 years old today, and even though we certainly have our share of problems, and some of them seem to get worse every year, we’re still privileged to be citizens of the greatest nation the world has ever known.
Just think about it. We have freedoms and a standard of living that most people in the world can only dream of. Most of you reading this have never gone to bed hungry, or wondered where your next meal was coming from. We may not like our nation’s leaders, but we have the freedom to say so, loud and long, without fearing storm troopers kicking in our door in at night.
If you don’t like your job, you have the freedom to quit and do something else. If you grow disillusioned with your community, you can work from within to change it, or you can pack up and leave any time you want to.
You can be a Baptist, a Lutheran, a Catholic, a Mormon, a Buddhist, an agnostic, or an atheist, and nobody can tell you how to worship, or what to worship.
In America, you can work as hard as you want to, and achieve any measure of success you want, as long as you are willing to make the sacrifices necessary to make it happen. Or, you can be a happy underachiever, leading a low pressure lifestyle, if that’s what floats your boat.
And why do we have this freedom that millions of people in the world would be willing to die for? Because so many of our countrymen have died to preserve it! From the days when farmers and shopkeepers clenched their muskets and faced off with the British at Concord Bridge, to Gettysburg and Shiloh, to the trenches of Belleau Wood, the blood soaked beaches of Normandy and Iwo Jima, the frozen hills of Korea, and the steaming jungles of Vietnam, and on to today’s battlefields in Iraq and Afghanistan, America’s soldiers, sailors, Marines, and airmen have answered the call, and beaten the tyrants of the world into submission so that you and I can have the lives we do today.
Freedom is not free. It comes at a very high price. A price that our fathers, uncles, brothers, husbands, sons, and yes, sisters and wives too, have paid for us, again and again.
Ahh… freedom. That’s about the best birthday present anybody can get!
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