Friday, November 7, 2008

I Almost Didn't Go

I woke up this morning and it was raining. I told myself I had nowhere to go and I would hopefully get a few things done around the house. As I watched the morning news, they showed a clip about the upcoming Veteran's Day parade this weekend.

My kids were singing at the Veteran's Day program at school at 9am! I almost forgot.

But it was raining. I would have to park and walk with the baby in the rain. But they had asked me last week if I would be there. I told them I could come since I am off on Fridays.

I almost didn't go. But I am glad I did. I got there about ten minutes early. I woke Bryson up and changed his clothes then put him in the car. So, lucky him, he got to eat a breakfast of champions while we waited for the program to start. Good ole Cheerios and Raisins. And apple-grape juice. It would also serve to help keep him quiet and still during the program. He dove right in head first and I was starting to get worried when the program had not started yet and breakfast was almost gone!

But soon the drum roll started by a little boy that used to live down the street from us so that was pretty neat. He is an awesome little drummer. Bryson immediately stood up in my lap and watched the whole program like it was Blue's Clue's. They had a speaker from the Arsenal in fatigues. He did an awesome job for all ages. He explained what freedom is, what a veteran is, and taught all the kids to "hooah". At the end they had different kids dressed in uniforms from the different branches of service. Then as all the kids sang the songs from each branch (for the life of me I can't remember what they are called. All I can think is "Theme Song" and I know that is wrong, but until my brain fluff is over that is what I will refer to it as) they asked for all the Veterans to stand up when they heard their "Theme Song" from their branch of service. Some young girls passed them little American flags as they stood. It was neat to watch.

But what really got to me was these older men that had served our country and used to carry guns and most had probably taken a life or two were fighting back tears as they heard the kids sing their songs. And all I could really think was, "Do we really understand what it means to be free?" I have never lived somewhere where I was not free. It kind of made me think of the times when I was little and I was hungry. Keep in mind I had probably finished a meal two hours earlier. I can remember telling my mom I was starving! I don't know what starving is and probably a lot of you don't either. I had never missed meals. My mom always had dinner on the table with a protein, carb, vegetable and a bread. Our country is dying from diabetes and obesity. We more than likely don't know what starving is. We have been hungry, ready for our next meal, but do we know what starving is? Do we view freedom the same way? I know it is something that I have taken for granted. It is easy when we don't know any different.

I'm afraid our kids don't understand freedom like they should either. Our poor kids have to go to school. And they have to go in a warm car in the winter time with coats on and their favorite pair of jeans. Some of them even have to ride a bus with a bus driver that cares. Some kids even have to go to church! In their nice clothes! I can remember when I was little I was putting my coat on to go to church and I looked at my dad and said, "Do we have to go to church?" And he looked at me with his serious face and told me no. "We get to go to church." Then he explained that kids in other countries don't get to go to church. They don't get to have nice things. They don't get to go to school and learn. They don't get to play ball. I didn't understand what he meant then because I too young. As I have gotten older and see the news and they show people in other countries, I understand a little better. Some adults feel the same way. They have to go to work or they have to pay the house payment.

Maybe it stirs up memories that they don't want to remember. I'm sure they have lost friends in war. Maybe some have taken other lives and aren't proud of that. But I am sure they are proud to live in a free country. A country that we can go to school or church. A country that we can go to the grocery store and get what we need when we need it. A country that we get to go to work so we can pay our house payment.

I almost didn't go this morning but I am oh so glad I did! Be sure and thank a Veteran for your freedom. It hasn't come easy. Thank God, too.

I started writing this right after I put Bryson down for his nap. I was waiting for him to go to sleep before I start mopping. He has stopped kicking the side of the bed and I think he is out like a light. On to a clean floor! Until his next meal anyway....

I think I will go send my Grandpa a thank you note.


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