We are prone to take for granted so much in our lives, whether it is the people we love or the comforts many of us enjoy. Often we take them for granted until we lose them or face the possibility of losing them. For many of us, freedom is one of those things we take for granted. When you are free, the concept seems intangible at times. However, when faced with the prospect of losing freedom, this concept becomes very real, very concrete. In the United States, we view freedom as a God-given right. It’s written into our constitution, after all. I must admit that, despite being married to an active duty service member, I do not wake up every day thinking of the price paid in human lives for my freedom. One of my favorite quotes is found at the Korean War Memorial in Washington, D.C., “Freedom is not free.”
The men and women who serve and have served in our military understand that freedom comes at a great cost, and they are willing to sacrifice for the rest of us. Many of them have seen firsthand what life looks like in societies that lack freedom, and they desire to protect the rest of us from experiencing it ourselves. We live in a country made up of multiple unique cultures, races, religions, and ideologies. While we do not always agree with what our neighbor may do or believe, we rest secure in knowing that we can coexist peacefully without the threat of death or imprisonment for simply expressing opposing ideas. The vast (and I do mean vast) majority of people my husband and I encounter are extremely gracious for the sacrifices he and his fellow service members make. However, to the small fraction of the population that disapprove of the U.S. military, these brave men and women proudly defend your right to express that opinion. There are plenty of places in the world where you would not be extended the same consideration. Today I am thankful for our veterans.