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Let Freedom Reign

I’m a first generation American. My parents emigrated from Europe. At times, it was a little screwy growing up in our house. My parents were strict and unfamiliar with the school systems and how they worked. We never watched football or baseball although we often went to see Pele play soccer in his hay-day. They didn’t abide by American traditions. Santa came to our house after dinner, on the eve of December 24th. Hamburgers were made with large chunks of onion incorporated into the meat and the finished product was always draped in a homemade mustard sauce. There was no bun and ketchup just wasn’t allowed. Saurkraut was always a side dish.We went to more Oktober-fests than we did street fairs and instead of hot pants, my sister, brother and I had our very own pair of lederhosen. My parents came to this country to make a better life for themselves and they did.

It’s befitting then, that their son should grow up to serve in our Armed Forces. My brother spent over ten years in the Air Force. He lived in Germany, was deployed to Saudi Arabia and Bahrain and served in the Gulf War. I will always be proud of his service to our country. To serve in the military is probably one of the most honorable professions any American could have for any amount of time and it is right that we should pay our respects in some way, to the millions of men and women who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our freedoms, even if it’s just a private thought in between barbecues, picnics and reunions this Memorial Day.

The will of the people is the only legitimate foundation of any government, and to protect its free expression should be our first object.  ~ Thomas Jefferson

Freedom is such a big word. Used in just about any context, it packs a lot of weight and thought behind it. Whether it’s from a bad habit, an unfulfilling job or a relationship that has become too constrictive, people will seek liberation. The desire is innate. For America, defending it’s freedoms is paramount, it’s people will go to any lengths to preserve them.  And although we may not all agree on how to protect our precious freedoms, there’s no doubt, regardless of our politics, that our right to choose, to vote and to express ourselves are critical to the core of the foundation this nation was built upon. Our freedom is the most important attribute of this country, making it equally important I believe, to honor and thank the millions of men and women who actively continue to put themselves in harms way and devote their time to the cause of safe guarding the freedoms we enjoy. For me, it’s important that my children appreciate them as well. I try to be an example to that end. Whenever I see a person in uniform, I try to find an opportunity to say,

Thank you for your service.

It’s not much but it’s genuine and it’s a start. I’ve never been met with anything but a smile or a respectful nod when I’ve said that and I’ve never been sorry I’ve said it either. So, if it moves you, speak up and thank a service person the next time you see one.

Be safe and enjoy your Memorial Day!

  1. May 29, 2011 at 3:29 pm

    What a wonderful idea! I am a second generation American (I think that’s what you call it when your grandparents emigrated.) My grandparents were extremely grateful to this country for taking them in and giving them opportunity. And being here during WW II almost definitely saved their lives. It disturbs me to see young people who do not appreciate our wonderful nation and the freedom and opportunity it provides.


  2. Veronica
    May 31, 2011 at 10:27 am

    My mom once said that to a man in uniform at the Harlem train station on our way to a Yankee game and I was mortified! But then after thinking about it and seeing the smile on the young man’s face, it made me want to say it to someone in the service next time I see one.


  3. Anonymous
    June 19, 2011 at 10:03 pm



  4. June 19, 2011 at 10:25 pm

    Mom, you’re the best.


  1. July 2, 2011 at 11:47 pm

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