July 4,1776, a crowd of rebellious patriots rally around a document written by Thomas Jefferson and sent to a king thousands of miles across the sea. This king taxed the “colonists” but in return they received nothing from him.
Today, I’ll celebrate our independence with a collection of links to posts with the title “Why Freedom Isn’t Free.”
I don’t endorse any of the products these posts might be selling. I am not saying I agree with all of the content. But, in the spirit of “free speech” I am sharing diverse opinions about this subject.
We’ll start with an old post of mine. I wrote it when the hubs and I walked the “Freedom Trail” in Boston.
Next up is a post from a life coach. He translates freedom in your personal life to freedom in your career and finances. Read it here
I especially agreed with the first line of this next post: “Years ago back in my days at the academy and in the military, I used to hear the phrase ‘freedom isn’t free’ over and over again. Not because I heard it in my military days, but because I think it’s a phrase that’s going out of style.
Now that we have a lull in holidays here in the United States, let’s talk about them. Some recent chatter on my Facebook profile has me thinking that holidays are being warped by society.
Or maybe society is being warped by the endless deluge of holidays.
Every day is National “something” Day, but no one pays attention except the marketers of whatever that something is.
Worse are the actual nationally recognized holidays that are treated as another excuse for a sale or to overeat (or drink to excess).
What is a holiday? Why is Mother’s Day sweet and Father’s Day swept over? And who decided everything (even selfies) needed a day of recognition?
According to Merriam-Webster, these are the top four definitions:
1. Holy day (does this need explanation?)
2. A day marked by a general suspension of work in commemoration of an event
3. Vacation – chiefly the British definition
4. A period of exemption or relief
In the case of this blog post, we’ll accept the second definition. Most people consider a special day off of work as a holiday. We all prefer these are PAID holidays, but that’s not the point of this post.
So, the day is not just for sleeping in and throwing a party. Notice the last part of the definition: “in commemoration of an event.”
What’s commemoration? Again, Merriam-Webster helps us out. It’s a call to remembrance or mark significance by ceremony or observance.
On Mother’s Day we remember our mothers by bringing them cards and gifts. Perhaps taking them out to lunch or dinner.
No Love on Father’s Day
Father’s Day should include the remembrance of fathers. They should be showered with cards and gifts.
Recently, I observed an interesting (and I thought amusing) difference in the WAY mothers and fathers liked to observe their holidays. I posted on Facebook this innocent comparison:
Father’s Day: Dad wants to grill his meal Mother’s Day: Mom doesn’t want to cook or clean
I found this entertaining because Mom generally cooks on EVERY day, so in honor of her special day, she’d like a break from that work. Isn’t that the very definition of holiday (see number two definition above)? But since Father’s aren’t generally (meaning I know this isn’t true in ALL cases, so no men need to get offended at my admitted generalization) responsible for cooking, they want to play with their grill and cook up some fatty brats and burgers (or steak and ribs). One female friend responded that my observation was true.
Two male friends said they noticed that father’s were generally disregarded on Father’s Day in lieu of celebrating the women who were both mother and father to their children.
What about the single dads who were both mother and father? Why no commendation for them?
The truth is, I have little contact with my own father and haven’t given him a card or anything else in more than 35 years. But I spoil my husband (as much as he’ll let me) because he’s the most important father in my life these days: the father of my sons.
Is the culture of women’s equality affecting the way we observe Father’s Day?
National “Whatever” Day
The reason I think many holidays are getting bland treatment is because the marketing department heads work overtime to create days to sell products.
On National Flip-Flop Day, there will be a huge discount on the disposable footwear of summer. National Selfie Day promotes selfie sticks and smart phones.
The fact that we’ve made every day a commemoration of something has watered down the exclusivity and sacredness of actual national holidays.
“Oh, it’s just another day.” And so some great fathers get no recognition (or veteran’s or soldiers who died in battle—who are to be honored and remembered on Memorial Day).
I’d joked with one of the men who commented about this disparity on my Facebook post, “We should have a National Appreciate Someone Day.”
And we both claimed that Monday as the day to appreciate someone and we affirmed each other.
Because adding such a day would only exacerbate the problem. Stores would carry “I appreciate you” mugs and florists would sell “You’re appreciated” balloons. Money would be made, but the impact would be trampled beneath the push to commercialize the day meant for connection.
Every day of our lives should be marked by gratitude for the courtesy, hard work and dedication of those around us. It should be an automatic thing to say, “Thank you” (and mean it) and tell people how much we appreciate the things they do. What do you think? Are the abundance of holidays warping the effectiveness of those days to commemorate special people or events?
God bless America! The “land of the free and the home of the brave.”
It all began on this day in 1776. A bunch of revolutionaries wrote up a fancy document and sent it off to the King of England, who ruled them at the time.
I’m talking about the Declaration of Independence. But independence isn’t so easily won as that. Winning freedom from oppression takes more than a piece of paper.
It would be a few more years before the U.S. Constitution was drafted and the United States of America became an independent nation.
So, happy birthday, Miss America. I’m still proud to be an American even if I shudder at some of the problems in America.
Light off an extra fire cracker for me.
The NEW Me
Look at the pretty red to pink header on my page. Doesn’t it scream for attention?
And did you notice the new tag-line for my site? Maybe you even voted for it when I was polling my Facebook friends.
Holding out for a Hero.
Has an excellent ring doesn’t it? Makes you think of anything? If I say I write romance or fantasy or inspirational fiction, the line still makes sense. It’s all-inclusive.
And since you’ve been seeing plenty of posts about Captain America and the idea of being a superhero, it makes everything clearer.
I’m trying to streamline my author brand. By choosing colors and a tag-line that speaks to the heart of my message, I’m hoping to find my niche, make a connection or just settle in with an audience.
Special Blog Series
Beginning this week, I’m going to start a series of posts to fit the theme “What Would Wonder Woman Do?” I got this idea from a discarded tag-line during the process of honing in on the perfect fit.
Since I’m trying to make all my posts have something to do with heroes, this seems perfect.
Look for this meme on Thursdays, and you’ll know my take on something from Wonder Woman’s worldview is about to follow.
Another series inspired by rejected tag-lines is “Between the Lines.” I’m not sure when I’ll begin posts with that theme but they will be the midweek post once Wonder Woman is exhausted.
Does Wonder Woman ever need a break? This one does.
Beginning this month, if you follow via email, you’ll notice that I’m returning to posting three days per week. I’m not sure how long I’ll be able to keep that up.
Mondays will be my regular posts. Thursdays will be my What Would Wonder Woman Do series (until I deplete my creative brain on that topic). On Friday or Saturday, I’ll post “The Week In Gratitude” or something like that. It will be the gratitude memes for the week.
How does all this sound?
I don’t hear much from the readers of my blog. I tell myself it’s because you’re delighted with the content I’m providing. If it’s because you’re bored or aren’t reading it, I hope this change will inspire renewed interest.
If you have ideas for series themes, let me know. If there are other topics you wish I’d address, feel free to tell me about it. The comments on this post is the perfect place for that. Or use the contact form from the “Author Info” page.
July the Fourth celebrated America’s Independence Day. It wasn’t intended to be just another day off work. Or another opportunity to eat too much and stay out to late. Those fireworks aren’t meant to entertain us with their colorful display.
July the Fourth should be a time when we reflect on the freedoms we enjoy in the United States. On this day, we fill our hearts and mouths with praise for our right to speak independently from our government and worship God as our own personal convictions dictate. We have much for which to be thankful.
One thing Americans neglect on this day is counting the cost. I’m not talking about your grocery bill for all those brats and burgers. Or the exorbitant sum spent on personal and community fireworks. I’m talking about something of intrinsic value – life.
The price of freedom cannot be measured in dollars and cents (although I’m certain bureaucrats have tried). Instead, this precious commodity comes at the expense of lives and blood.
To Recap the Price for America
Freedom is never free. We enjoy the benefits of someone else’s sacrifice. Most of the time, men and women in uniform protect our freedoms at the cost of their own life and health.
For American freedom, the cost in lives can be calculated by totaling the casualties in all the conflicts in which we protected our own lands or aided our allies from hostile invasion (the list doesn’t include dozens of other battles, namely with the Native Americans):
Revolutionary War: 25,000
War of 1812: 15,000
Spanish American War: 2,446
Mexican American War: 13,283
Civil War: 750,000
The Great War (aka World War I): 117,465
World War II: 419,000
Korean War: 36, 516
Iraq: 4,804 (and counting)
Afghanistan: 3,441(and on the rise)*
Our freedom cost 1,445,164 people the ultimate price. After lining up all the people who live in Vermont and South Dakota, you would still need to find 5,243 people to match this number. And those two states rank amount the five smallest population-wise in the US.
Scary, isn’t it?
If the total number of wounded were added to this total, the staggering amount would immobilize us. Or it should.
Why do these people, military and civilian alike, put themselves in harm’s way? They understand that liberty involves sacrifice. Freedom is never free. A steep price in blood and lives purchases our often unappreciated freedom.
Have you thanked God for your physical freedoms lately? What about thanking a man or woman in military uniform for their service? They might have to pay the ultimate price someday soon.
Today, stop and consider the grave payment made for your freedom to take a day off work and chill with friends or family. When those fireworks light up the sky, remember the “rockets’ red glare” and “bombs bursting in air” mentioned in The Star-Spangled Banner. Be grateful. Not everyone is enjoying freedom today.