Words are sometimes hard to come by when you feel strong about something. But I’ll try to put into words the immense love I have for you.
In the graph of history, you started late and haven’t been around long. But in your short time, you’ve given the world the best gift anyone could imagine: Freedom.
Freedom is rare, tyranny is the norm. We didn’t and still don’t come by this gift by accident or random celestial reaction. Freedom was designed, and this offering is expensive. Millions of brave men and women have pledged and continue to pledge their lives, limbs, honor, and treasure to ensure this unique trial of humanity gets more time on earth.
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You gave me freedom to speak my mind without recrimination, the open path to follow the God I want to follow and direct my life as I wish, and you asked nothing in return except that I allow others to do the same.
This is why, at every single event where the Pledge of Allegiance or National Anthem is solemnly and beautifully expressed in words or song, a chill runs over my skin and tears fill my eyes at the immense sense of pride and honor I have to stand tall, place my hand of my swelling heart, and recite those words. I know behind those words stand my benefactors, some long gone and some still here, who graciously say, “I have the watch. Go pursue your happiness.”
Sometimes in my tears, a sorrow creeps in for those who don’t see what I see in you. We have in our borders people who do not share my love. They see you as the oppressor, the slave holder, the tyrant, the dictator who rules the world, drains its resources, and gets fat while others starve.
They do not understand you. They want you like the others – dark, unsuccessful, miserable, oppressive.
They do not know, or know but choose to ignore, the great lengths you’ve gone to ensure each American – born or naturalized – can live as he or she chooses.
Love unexpressed is not love so here and now I pledge that I will use all gifts God has bestowed on me to preserve this precious freedom. I will speak of you with honor and pride, and I will never forsake what you have granted me.
Happy Valentine’s Day, America. I love you!
The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.