By Doris Schroeder
There was a time, not too many years ago, when voting was considered a special privilege. Even then, however, there were those who lamented the fact that “my vote doesn’t really count anyways!” and many did not make use of this wonderful way of voting for the right candidate.
In the beginning of our country, however, it was of utmost importance because that was the only way we could keep our land the way it was originally put which of course was “under God,” respecting him and the rules of our land. These laws had to do with relating to Him, our parents, those in authority (who were also under God) no murderers, dishonesty, and a general regard for those around us. As an ordinary rule, we appreciated these privileges.
Both of my grandparents who had come from other countries, went according to these laws. Even though they couldn’t understand English very well, they realized the importance of voting when the time came and they were sure to cast their ballots when election time drew near.
That continued to make a difference in the laws of the land and the U. S. prospered. Our country, although not perfect, grew and was well-respected and feared throughout the world. They looked to us knowing because we worshipped the God of Creation, we were powerful, not in our own right but in the strength of Him.
Sometimes other countries who did not worship our God, sought to fight us and take away our freedoms but our leaders sent out soldiers who fought valiantly for our rights and succeeded.
I can remember when we lived in California for a year and a half and the Japanese sought to take us over in Pearl Harbor. I was only seven years old that fateful December 7 in 1941. On my way home from Sunday School, I remembered the announcement by President Roosevelt I had heard on the radio that morning that “We are at war!”
“What does that really mean?” I wondered. In the days to come, I heard the planes practice from the Bakersfield Airport. and it frightened me. They would practice their diving and it made me uneasy. Since I always liked to sing I would sing “You are my Sunshine” as loud as I could. trying to drown out the drone of war from my mind. As I think about it now, I wonder if the neighbors ever complained about my loud singing!
Within a few months we heard about another country, Germany, who under the rule of Adolph Hitler, also wanted to take down America. Again I can vividly remember walking down the sidewalk of McFarland, California, and thinking
“We are living in memorable times, fighting a country with people like Hitler!”
When the voting time came around in November I do remember my parents made a special effort to cast their ballots.
We moved back to Kansas later and I really appreciated the freedom our country had. I attended the one room country school. Every day we did the pledge of allegiance to the flag and our teacher would pray for God to bless our day. None of us had a lot of material wealth but we lived in a country where we were free to seek opportunity and we could make a living “by the sweat of our brow!”
Our country was safe. Hoboes would even come to the farm and ask for food in exchange for a little work and we all felt safe. We did not even have locks on our farmhouse door and we didn’t worry.
As I grew up and married the love of my life, I enjoyed the time in November when we could cast our ballots in our country and we did vote, although it didn’t seem as drastically necessary as it does today.
The time has come, however, when it is not only our civic duty to vote but our country’s life as we have known it, is at stake. Our vote does count! It is not only our God-given right but it is also our duty and our job as American citizens to cast our ballots for those who believe in keeping our country free and under God.
Voting is our privilege and is absolutely necessary. We can and must make our voices heard by making use of this instrument. I will see you at the polls!
Doris welcomes your comments and can be reached at [email protected]