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Thursday, November 11 2010

I have a dear friend who lives in Los Angeles. Despite the fact that I'm a gun totin' conservative in Texas, and he's as liberal as Hillary Clinton's hairdresser, we've had many intelligent "give and take" discussions regarding politics, crime, health care, national security, and foreign policy. I respect the fact that he was a journalist in different parts of Asia for 12 years and has the passport stamps to back up his views.  He respects the fact that I've lived nightmares that he's only seen in bad dreams. His experiences tend to color his view on foreign policy.  My experiences tend to color my view on crime and punishment. But the point is, we still respect the views of the other.

He told me something once that I shall never forget, (I'll paraphrase my National Geographic Explorer and edit some of the cuss words for you.)

"I've been all over the world. I've seen a lot of different political systems. And I'll tell you this . . .  no matter how "effed" up our system is, it's still better than anything else I've seen."

Regardless of how you voted in the last presidential election, the peaceful exchange of power was something that should have given every American chillbumps. Here were two very different political camps coming together peacefully and exchanging the reins of an entire country. I remember watching that ceremony in awe.

How blessed we are to live in a society where two people of differing viewpoints can openly trade opposing ideas.  How blessed are we to live in a country where we have the right to criticize our government without fear. If we don't like the way our elected officials are running things, we don't have to take up arms, Americans can take up the pen.  Americans can speak up.  Americans can vote. And they do.  Over the course of this country's history, the pendulum has swung back and forth between liberal and conservative.  Regardless of your political leanings, the important thing is not whether the pendulum swings in your favor, but that the pendulum has the freedom to swing at all.

And that's where the Constitution and the American soldier come in.  Men and women have died, and continue to die, to give you these freedoms. Whether or not you agree with why America is at war, the American soldier will still stand up and fight for you and for your right to disagree with policy.  Many people will argue that war is senseless, violence begets violence, we're fighting for all the wrong reasons . . . and the list goes on.  But they often forget that the soldier is not the policy.

The American soldier is not a nameless, faceless, automaton, or an army of political puppets.  The American soldier is your brother, your sister, the child you taught in school, the Little League kid, the Girl Scout, the Boy Scout, the Neighbor's boy, the kid down the street . . . the kid who takes a moment to share a kind word of thanks for the old man, the old woman . . . the veteran . . . who years earlier also fought for your right to enjoy freedoms that so many take for granted.

So please take a moment to treasure the freedoms you enjoy.  Thank God, thank a soldier, and thank a veteran, that you live in a country where you have these freedoms. 



Posted by: forensicfarmgirl AT 11:24 am   |  Permalink   |  4 Comments  |  Email
Very well written. I'm so glad you can be friends with your buddy in LA. So many folks don't think you can 'agree to disagree' and still be friends. It is amazing that we can live peacefully, so to speak, in a nation where people are so divided on so many issues. It is a blessing, indeed! I am not in support of the war, but am wildly in support of every man and woman in the service. My dad was in WWII in Japan. I treasure every bit of the life that I am allowed because of the sacrifices of service members.
Posted by CeeCee on 11/11/2010 - 06:23 PM
Thank you! It is so important that we never forget the sacrifices made by so many.
Posted by forensicfarmgirl on 11/11/2010 - 06:49 PM
Well said and thank you. I always think when I read emails of the saying "If you can red this, thank a teacher. And thank a soldier that you can read it in English"
Posted by Libby on 11/12/2010 - 12:36 AM
YES! I love that quote!
Posted by forensicfarmgirl on 11/12/2010 - 05:28 PM

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