Sunday, May 24, 2015

Let Freedom Ring!

Spring is here at last and it is time for Spring Fling in the nearby town of Fair Haven, Vermont.  This means a Memorial Day Parade and celebration.  It is a time for their town-wide garage sale, and other spring time special events, including the used book sale at the library. My daughter is there with her boyfriend and his boys who are proudly parading with their Boy Scout Troop. It is an event that means community in every sense of the word.

Years ago I remember being leader of a young women's organization, and the theme  I chose to represent my time as leader was "Let Freedom Ring".  That was over fifty years ago now.  How time flies and yet some things don't change, like love of my country.  I learned so much at that time about the history of our nation and about all the patriots that laid down their lives for the sake of our present freedoms. My sense of appreciation and love of my country has grown more every year as I continue to learn more about the heroes that have fought and died for our nation.

I have just finished reading about prisoner of war camps during the Civil War, after re-discovering that my great grandfather fought in this war and was imprisoned seven times, and was even imprisoned in Andersonville, one of the most notorious prisoner of war camps. Unlike the prisoner of war camps of today, there were no fine facilities or humane treatment. It was one of the darkest days in our history, when prisoners were kept in overcrowded stockades with no housing, or sanitation. Thousands died of malnutrition and disease. Most prisoners were inadequately clothed to protect them from the cold or sun and the atrocities ranked among the worst in the history of mankind! How easy it is to forget that this is what is behind Memorial Day celebrations, now an extended weekend and reprieve from work.

May we all take time to say a prayer for our nation and may we be willing to lay down our lives to protect the freedoms that were so hard earned by the many patriots who paid for them most dearly! Our freedoms are more than a privilege, they are our sacred responsibility to maintain.  They are not free, but came at a great cost! May God bless those who paid the price for our treasured American life and may freedom ring forever!