Monday, May 25, 2009

They Sacrificed Their Tomorrows For Us


When so many have given their lives for my freedom "Thank you" sounds so trivial, such a small expression of gratitude. I've been reading posts about this Memorial Day all weekend and there are some sentiments and statements that stick out more than others to me. Beginning with the title of this post. It was a title used by a young man serving over in Iraq who blogs as Blackfive and has lost several friends that he served side by side with. On his blog today he wrote a tribute to those men and his tribute was how he valued the opportunities that he has in his marriage, with his children and with his family because the price of their lives paid for that opportunity for him. He's living their tomorrows and not taking one day of it for granted.
I know we all have our Faces of Freedom. They are sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, friends, neighbors. Today we memorialize those who have served because America's greatness was something they believed in with their lives. For me that Face of Freedom is Chief Warrant Officer Michael Blaise.


Our community lost this young man only weeks before his tour of duty was finished and he was to return home. Our church was planning the welcome home festivities and that feeling of relief was already in the air that Michael and his wife Kate would finally be home safe and sound. I'll never forget that phone call from our pastor telling us Michael's helicopter went down on January 23, 2004. I had a real hard time accepting that this young man, who was so ready to come home and start his life with his wife, settle back into his hometown surroundings, was not returning to this home. God must have had a greater purpose for a warrior such as Michael. Five years later I still see Michael as the last time I'd seen him, brush hogging the ditches up the road. He was so in his element on that tractor. I see him walking up to my husband's shop with a huge smile and I can still hear that, "Hey Boss!" greeting. On Memorial Day when we visit his grave and say thank you it's with more of a heart with a promise to Michael that we will live the tomorrows he gave to us doing all we can to fight for the freedom he gave his life for. Having the honor of knowing Michael is and always will be the drive behind the passion for standing up for the convictions and the love I have for our country. We will always have a tremendous respect for the ultimate price Michael paid for our freedom. There is a peace in knowing that he spent his life on what he believed was worth fighting for, the United States of America. And in the words of Blackfive, it's up to us to honor [those who gave their lives] by ensuring that our future was worth the sacrifice of their tomorrows.





“We all share the love of peace, but our sons and daughters must learn two lessons men everywhere and in every time have had to learn: that the price of freedom is dear, but not nearly as costly as the loss of freedom - and that the advance and continuation of civilization depend on those values for which men have always been willing to die for…” Ronald Reagan

FREEDOM ISN’T FREE

Freedom isn’t free - It takes a sacrifice
The courage to believe - In doing what is right
Protecting all that’s dear - Through the blood, the sweat, the tears
No, freedom isn’t free

Freedom isn’t free - It takes a sacrifice
The willingness to love - And fight for what is right
Protecting all that’s dear - Should be clear to you and me
That freedom isn’t free

From the halls of Montezuma - To the shores of Tripoli
We will fight our Country’s battles - In the quest for liberty
Over hill and dale and sky and sea - Freedom’s price is dear
But greater is the cost - To see our freedom lost

Oh say can you see - By the dawn’s early light
America, America - Is shining bright
And to all those who fought - For the Home of the Brave
We thank you, thank you - For all you gave

Freedom isn’t free - It takes a sacrifice
A daughter or a son - A husband or a wife
A sister or a brother - A father or a mother
No, freedom isn’t free

Freedom isn’t free - It takes a sacrifice
A daughter or a son - A husband or a wife
A sister or a brother - A father or a mother
A neighbor or a stranger - To keep us safe from danger
Protecting all that’s dear - Through the blood, the sweat, the tears
No, freedom isn’t free

Protecting all that’s dear - Through the blood, the sweat, the tears
No, freedom isn’t free

Protecting all that’s dear - Should be clear to you and me
Through the blood, the sweat, the tears - We will fight for liberty
And with faith in God above - We’ll preserve this Land we love
Though freedom isn’t free

Make no mistake about it - You wouldn’t want to live without it
But freedom isn’t……….. Free

Chele Stanton 2009

FOR ALL THOSE WHO SERVE AND HAVE SERVED
THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
THE LAND OF THE FREE AND
THE HOME OF THE BRAVE

WILLINGLY… COURAGEOUSLY… SACRIFICIALLY…




Day is done,
gone the sun,
From the hills,
from the lake,
From the skies.
All is well,
safely rest,
God is nigh.

Go to sleep,
peaceful sleep,
May the soldier
or sailor,
God keep.
On the land
or the deep,
Safe in sleep.

Love, good night,
Must thou go,
When the day,
And the night
Need thee so?
All is well.
Speedeth all
To their rest.

Fades the light;
And afar
Goeth day,
And the stars
Shineth bright,
Fare thee well;
Day has gone,
Night is on.

Thanks and praise,
For our days,
‘Neath the sun,
Neath the stars,
‘Neath the sky,
As we go,
This we know,
God is nigh.



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