During this time of year, and particularly the 4th of July we have a very special opportunity to reflect a bit more on our many blessings and opportunities of living in this United States. Gratitude to God for America
Many have gone before us who sacrificed all, even their lives for us to have the privileges of freedom of speech, to go where we desire, enjoy the great benefit of an education, to become what we are willing to work for, to dream of and to accomplish all that we see as worthwhile. Many noble, courageous and heroic men and women sacrificed their possessions and personal safety so they, their children, posterity, even each of us, could have the gift of freedom. Men went to battle for liberty, leaving comfort of home and love of family; many never to return. Women sacrificed as their husbands, fathers, sons went to battle, all for the cause of liberation. Instead of purchasing English fabric and goods they would spin their own yarn and linen; then weave cloth to make clothing, an arduous task added to now taking care of the home, children and land with the men to war. Children were also considered forces to be reckoned with. They were taught to stand for truth, speak for the right, and live God’s commandments. There is a story told of an altercation involving British soldiers who had mistreated children who lived in the area. The boys went to General Gage himself, an English General. They presented their case stating the wrongs that had been done to them repeatedly. The General asked if their parents had sent them to speak to him. They replied no, and again stated their position of continued mistreatment from his men. General Gage reportedly laughed at the plucky young fellows, promised his soldiers would not bother them anymore and then turning to an officer nearby said: “Even the children here draw in the love of liberty with the very air they breathe.”
There are countless extraordinary lessons and examples from those who fearlessly fought for what they deemed most dear – that of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. People such as George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Paul Revere, the list would go for pages. We can gain knowledge and inspiration by learning of their lives. One account of George Washington gives us insight of what true greatness looks like and what we should strive for. During the Revolution, Washington was riding by a group of soldiers who did not recognize him. They were working very hard to raise a beam above a military construction. He could hear the corporal shout, “Now you have it, all ready, Pull!” Washington quietly asked the corporal why he didn’t help the men who were struggling with such a difficult weight. The corporal replied, “Sir, do you realize that I am the corporal?” Washington raised his hat politely and said, “I did not realize it and beg your pardon Mr. Corporal.” He dismounted his horse, got in line with the men and worked until the beam was in place. Before leaving he turned to the corporal, wiping his face of the perspiration said, “If ever you need assistance like this again, call upon Washington, your commander-in-chief, and I will come.” The confused and flustered corporal realized that this was the most respected and admired Washington himself to whom he had been so pompous. It would admirable and commendable if we would follow Washington’s example of meekness and humility. Have a wonderful and safe holiday with family and friends. Some time during the day, take a moment to say a prayer of gratitude and thankfulness to God who gives us all, even our life and the joys that come with living on this great earth, at this momentous time in history and in this blessed, remarkable country.
Copyright Carrie Groneman, A Mother’s Shadow
Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today.