I’m Proud To Be An American
“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.”
John Fitzgerald Kennedy
I wrote this post on 11/11/11….the first year I was sharing my “Thoughts” with you. It was more secular that many of the posts I write today, but on a day like Veterans Day here in the United States, or Remembrance Day, which is the same day set aside for honoring service members in the British Commonwealth nations, I think it is not just right but proper to think in a more secular light. However, for this purpose, we must also define secular as not overtly religious instead of lacking spirituality. You see, the gifts we have been given by those who willingly entered into battle to preserve our freedoms are about as spiritual as any we will ever receive in our lifetimes.
Today is Veterans Day. This holiday was first proclaimed as Armistice Day by Woodrow Wilson, and was to be celebrated on November 11, 1919. In proclaiming the holiday, President Wilson said, “To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations.”
Have any of you wondered about things you might do to show your gratitude to so many who gave so much so that you have not only the opportunity but the right as well to sit there, in the comfort of your home, and read my blog today? Here is a list of ideas that I believe are worthwhile and which I support unconditionally!
1. How about observing a moment of silence for those who’ve fought and died while in service to the country? Traditionally this gesture is done at 11AM but any time you feel comfortable with dedicating to just this very thing is a wonderful gesture!
2. Display an American flag. Millions of us flew the flag from our homes and our cars after September 11th. Then, the practice began to wane. How about kicking it back into the place of prominence it deserves!
3. Attend a Veterans Day parade. Now there are not as many as I would like to see but often there is a ceremony at your local cemetery provided by your local VFW/American Legion. Why not try to attend one such ceremony!
4. Thank a vet for his/her service. Many businesses are saying thank you today by offering free meals for our veterans. But perhaps your community has no such program. Well, how about stopping by that VFW building and shaking a few hands and saying “Thank You!” Believe me your gesture will be greatly appreciated!
5. How about visiting the U.S. Department of Defense Website and find a service person you can send a card or a thank you letter to? There are thousands of service personnel who do not have family back home to remember them. Why not become a surrogate brother or sister?
6. Visit The Veterans Site below, and click the box to provide a meal and supportive care to a homeless and hungry veteran. All it takes a second of your day but that one second can do so much to help so many. (http://www.theveteranssite.com/clickToGive/home.faces?siteId=10)
“For who is God, but the LORD? And who is a rock, except our God?—the God who equipped me with strength and made my way blameless. He made my feet like the feet of a deer and set me secure on the heights. He trains my hands for war, so that my arms can bend a bow of bronze. You have given me the shield of your salvation, and your right hand supported me, and your gentleness made me great. You gave a wide place for my steps under me, and my feet did not slip.
Psalm 18:31-36 ESV
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