Veterans deserve respect, thanks

By Joan Clayton: Religion Columnist

Throughout the history of this nation, men and women have made tremendous sacrifices to maintain freedom.

They realized that a life without freedom is a life of slavery with every type of tyranny. William Penn said, “Unless we are governed by God we will be ruled by tyrants.”

Freedom is the most precious gift a country can possess. Without it, life exists without a purpose. Freedom comes with a price.

Sunday is Veterans Day. Let us remember our veterans with heartfelt gratitude. Where would we be without their dedication and service to our country?

I grow tired and weary of those living in this nation who worry we might be offending those of another opinion of our patriotism. Hey, this is our country. Our love of it stems from battles, victories, blood, sweat and tears. This is our America and our lifestyle. It is called “The America Dream.”

God is our refuge. He is our culture. We are not ashamed of Jesus.

This nation was founded upon him. We look to him for our existence with hope, thankfulness and joy. Those who may be offended by these concepts don’t have to stay.

So we honor our veterans. We are thankful for you and we surround you with prayers.

To all of the military a “thank you” seems so small in the light of such unselfish service to mankind, but generations in the past and those living today enjoy the fruits of your sacrifice. The emotional trauma and scars have come from enemies who have an insatiable thirst for power and a distorted dream of global conquest.

You, dear veterans, are my heroes.

Your service to your country cannot be measured in monetary terms, but of loyalty, love of country and a willingness to give what you can to make the world a better place.

Because of you, we can salute the flag, we can still sing, “America, America, God shed his grace on thee,” attend the church of our choice, vote at the polls, express our opinions and pursue happiness.

Because of your steadfastness we have tears in our eyes and hands over hearts when we hear “The Star Spangled Banner” played.

After the last note is sung we say, “Amen.” We say “Amen to freedom. Amen to patriotism. Amen to America.”

It’s time to say, “thank you.” Thank you for rising up to defend the rest of us, sacrificing your life to save ours. May we never take these blessings for granted.

I pray a prayer for God to surround you with his angels. May he guard your every step. I pray for your loved ones you have left behind and may you come back home safely.

God bless America!