By Doris Schroeder
On the day you receive this paper, we will be looking forward to Memorial Day…the one set aside to remember our military who have given their lives for our freedom. The three day Saturday through Monday will be just ahead and many of us will probably enjoy a three day vacation. The day, May 30, however, should be spent thanking God for those who have believed in our country so strongly, they were willing to die so we could enjoy the freedoms of “ life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
Many of our ancestors came to America for these precious freedoms we have come to take for granted. They craved the freedom to make up their own mind and be able to stand on their convictions.
The freedom to live their lives according to their thinking. The sad part is that the world is becoming so callous, for many there are no convictions evident. “If it feels good, do it!” “This is MY right!” and so on. Sad to say, there are many young people who have never been taught or shown this discipline by their parents. I wonder where our country would be at this time if this was the way the soldiers were taught.
When our military go through boot camp, they do learn respect. Our grandson told us how it was when he went through it. “The first two weeks they knock off all the chips on your shoulder until you feel like nothing. Then they begin building you back up, only this time with the proper respect for authority.”
Our son, John, a jail chaplain in Florida and a retired army chaplain in the army reserves, tells about the boot camp they used to have at the Pinellas county jail. Young people who had never learned discipline were put through the rigors of boot camp training. By the time they came out, they had a respect for authority. Perhaps this should be a must for all the youth offenders today!
Years ago I visited with a Chinese man from a former church who came to the US at the age of 69 arriving about 25 years ago. I asked him what had impressed him the most about the US.
Without hesitation he replied “the freedom to be enjoyed in every phase!” He told me about an incident that happened to him when he was a young four year old boy in China. He was in his room when a large killer dog had tried to get in. His father had warded him off with a chair, sticking the leg of the chair in the dog’s mouth until help arrived. He, as a young boy, was so scared he was shaking and from that time on, he couldn’t talk without stuttering.
He had to be careful what he said during his 69 years in China and did have to spend two years in prison for being a Christian.
The moment he set foot on American soil, however, his stuttering stopped. He no longer feared what would happen if he said the wrong thing. That freedom of speech meant the world to him.
Yet there are some that show no respect for our country, not wanting to be told anything about their own conduct. What would our country be like if:
We all drove at whatever speed we wanted. We went through stoplights at will.
We showed no respect to our government whatsoever. Example, we called the president by his last name only. We made fun of those elected officials of our government and put them down at every opportunity.
We demanded our rights at every turn, even though it meant putting down Christians who believe in the God of Creation. To show that we were in control, we used God’s name in vain, using it often with the worst words we could think of?
But wait a minute, look around, isn’t this already happening? And yet…think about it…we have men and women soldiers who still feel so strongly about our county that they are willing to lay down their lives so we can still enjoy the freedoms that are ours in America.
What do our freedoms really mean to us? Think about it!
Doris welcomes your comments and can be reached at [email protected] att.com