Freedom: Remember What We Celebrate, Love

Independence: What It Costs

@JeanneTakenaka +Jeanne Takenaka

As we prepare to celebrate Independence Day in the United States, I find myself humbled by the sacrifice of those who have fought and died defending our flag. 

I am also humbled by those who have fought and maybe returned with horrible injuries—physical and psychological—while defending what the red, white, and blue represents. 

Liberty

Freedom.

Today, I have the sense that many in our nation assume freedom is our right. And that it comes without responsibility or without understanding what this freedom cost . . .

The blood of men and women who fought and died in battle. 

On our behalf.

From the Revolutionary War to the Civil War to the World Wars, all the wars in between and in all the wars since, men and women have died. 

So we could live in freedom.

We have freedom to practice religion. 

Or not. 

Freedom to bear arms. 

Or not. 

We have freedoms to make choices many in our world only dream of being able to make.

Our children, for the most part, have the freedom to gain a good education. To eventually find a job and make a decent living. 

We have the freedom to agree or disagree with the leaders who make decisions on behalf of our country. Of us.

And we have the freedom to vote for them. 

Or not.

All because of what our flag represents: the sacrifice of those who have died defending our liberty.

There’s been a lot of controversy surrounding our flag. And the amazing thing is? We have the freedom to disagree with what this symbol represents. 

But, my hope is that, as Americans celebrate Independence Day, they will reflect on the reality that others have shed their blood so that we can live in peace and freedom.

What about you? What does Independence Day mean to you?  How do you honor the day?

Click to Tweet: This Independence Day may we reflect on the reality that others fought and died so Americans could live in freedom

I’m linking up with #RaRaLinkup and Holley Gerth

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10 thoughts on “Independence: What It Costs”

  1. Great post, Jeanne. I say special prayers for the mercenaries and contractors – my friends – whose bones lie in the soil of places governments couldn’t go…but brave men could, for a pittance and for public scorn and for the privilege of living up to Housman’s words.

    Epitaph on an Army of Mercenaries

    These, in the day when heaven was falling,
    The hour when earth’s foundations fled,
    Followed their mercenary calling,
    And took their wages, and are dead.

    Their shoulders held the sky suspended;
    They stood, and earth’s foundations stay;
    What God abandoned, these defended,
    And saved the sum of things for pay.

    A.E. Housman

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    1. Thank you, Andrew. And thank you for the reminder that there are those who serve in “non-traditional” roles. There are many people and roles, most Americans are unaware of, and these play pivotal parts in defending/maintaining our freedom.

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  2. I am struggling through this with some people I dearly love right now. I have zero problem with anyone’s patriotism or being thankful for the country in which they live. I have big problems with the mixing of patriotism and faith that results in the belief that God loves America most. I’ve clashed in some pretty big ways with others over this recently.

    I am thankful for the people who genuinely want to do what is best for the country. For those who seek to find reasonable, workable, compassionate solutions to the problems. We might not agree on methods, but I can admire and respect someone who is trying to live with kindness and integrity.

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    1. Awww, Marie, you have such a way of thinking through the “hard” topics. I can see why you’re struggling through this issue. If we want to get right down to it, Israel is God’s “chosen” people. However, that doesn’t mean He hasn’t brought His discipline when they disobeyed His word. It does seem like God had a special anointing on America, particularly when our nation was first formed. I don’t think this means God loves our country most. He has children in every country, and He loves His creation.

      America does have issues, and many in our country have turned away from Him. God will tolerate unrighteousness for only so long before He deals with hearts and lives. I so appreciate your take on finding solutions to the problems our nation faces. And I’m with you: thankful for those who are seeking to do what’s best for the country, who seek compassionate, workable reasonable solutions, even when their methods may be different from what I would do. And yes, I, too, can admire and respect a person who tries to live with kindness and integrity.

      May God continue to guide you as you grapple with these big concepts, my friend!

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  3. Jeanne, hi! I tuned into this year’s 4th evening celebration on TV, and I was struck by how politics didn’t seem enter the picture, that we could celebrate our freedom and show gratitude for this country without debates and disagreements and endless wrangling.

    I could sing the old patriotic songs and forget about current events, even if just for a few minutes.

    It was a good break from the chaos and division. May God shed His grace on us all.

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    1. We didn’t watch anything on television this year. But it is reassuring to hear that political agendas didn’t play into honoring our independence as a country. 🙂 I, too, am glad God shines His grace on us all!

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