It had all the pomp and circumstances a medium-sized community could muster. In this happy celebration, we waved small U.S. flags and applauded floats and bands, antique cars and equestrian groupings, fire trucks and police cars and motorcycles. Boys and Girls Scout troops marched along with representatives of the Salvation Army, as well as high school football teams and cheerleaders.
But the participants which were most meaningful to me were a small group of patriotic citizens whose presentation was headed by a single veteran with a sign that said, “Please stand in honor of our fallen warriors.”
He was followed by others with banners showing names, details, and pictures of only some of our local servicemen killed in military service for our country. I stood with the others, with my hand over my heart, and cried as the limited procession passed by. Truly, freedom is not free!
This annual holiday should prompt some holy reflections since true freedom ultimately comes from God. King David said, “I will walk in freedom, for I have devoted myself to your commandments.” (Psalm 119:45) This greater freedom comes from putting God first and obeying His commands.
Today, in this “greatest country on God’s green earth,” to quote radio commentator Michael Medved, we enjoy many freedoms. Our Constitution gives us the
- freedom of religion,
- freedom of speech,
- freedom of the press, and the
- freedom to elect our leaders.
All of these freedoms were secured by the wisdom and dedication of our Founding Fathers.
Patriotism may seem parochial to a new generation and soon everyone will do what is right in his own eyes. A nation’s common history, culture, and values need to be honored and acknowledged by school children, brave members of our military, and the cultured elite, alike. If we fail to remember and reflect on these freedoms or selfishly demand them for ourselves and fail to courageously secure them for others we will progressively lose our freedoms.
July 4, 2018, marked the 242nd anniversary of the signing of our nation’s Declaration of Independence. It explicitly acknowledged God four times and we are told that all men are “created equal” and are “endowed by their Creator” with the unalienable right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
The Declaration cites the “laws of nature and of nature’s God” as authoritative and appeals to Him as the “Supreme Judge of the world.” Finally, the Founders expressed in the Declaration their “firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence.”
These first principles of nation building are linked to biblical truth, moral tradition and a scriptural understanding of liberty. They were not withdrawn Continue reading