Thursday, May 28, 2015

God Bless the USA

This past Monday was Memorial Day. When most people think about Memorial Day, they think of sales and barbecues and days at the park. But I was raised in a military family. So Memorial Day to me means flags and red poppies and fields of tidy rows of white headstones. It means thoughts of gratitude for my country and the many people who have sacrificed to make the United States of America a land of so many freedoms. 

I go to the gym most days. It's a tiny, bare-bones kind of gym, but it fits my needs: cycling classes, a ladies workout room, and a daycare that my children LOVE. All for just $20/month. Works for me. Since I started going, I noticed many ladies of middle eastern dissent that regularly frequented the gym as well. Over the last year, I have grown to be good friends with some of these women. They are all Arabic, some from Iran, some from Iraq, and some from Serbia. They are all Muslim, although they have varying levels of devoutness. But they are all WONDERFUL women. 

As I was cycling and talking to one of these women the other day, she and I got onto the topic of how she met her husband. She explained to me that growing up in her country, she never felt safe. Her family would receive phone calls daily with death threats. She never knew if her father would come home from work. She always went to bed wondering if she would live to wake up in the morning. She had to keep her head down and never cause any trouble. Eventually, in her late teenage years, her family made the decisions to leave her homeland and escape to a neighboring country. There, they were allowed to experience a small degree more of freedom and she met her husband. But they were still not safe. Hateful phone calls continued and they decided that America would be the safest place for them. 

She and her husband and their entire extended families are now living here in the United States. She loves it here. When asked if she missed her country, she laughed. "How can you miss a place where you never felt like you could breathe? How can you miss a life where that life could end from hatred at any moment? No, America is go. Here, I am finally safe. I don't have to worry."

Here, we are safe. We really, truly are. All of these marvelous women that I have met and made friends with, they chose to leave their homes, the lands of their ancestors, and come to America because of the safety and freedoms it provides. Let us remember WHY America is how it is and let us PRESERVE those freedoms. 

I hope you all stop and stand still with your right hand across your heart when you hear the National Anthem. I hope you choose to recite the pledge of allegiance when given the opportunity. I hope you have a burning of gratitude when you see the flag waving in the sky. I hope you vote in elections. I hope you obey the laws of the land. I hope you allow others the freedoms that you enjoy. I hope you thank our service men when you see them. I hope you pray to God in gratitude for this blessed nation and ask for it's protection and continued freedom. 

Don't forget what we have here.

God bless the USA.

1 comment:

  1. What beautiful thoughts, sweet daughter. We are so blessed to live in this wonderful country. Thanks for sharing.