On a day like today, we see pictures and hear stories of those valiant soldiers who fought and died in places like Omaha Beach, the Chosin Resevoir, and Hamburger Hill. Faces of those who died in Khe San, Al Kut, Ramadi, Fallujah, and Kandahar scroll across newsstands and tv screens, and they echo in the hearts and minds of people who knew them. And through it all, we thank them for the cost they paid. What they did can never be repaid, never be earned.
But as I reflected on those who have laid down their lives in the name of freedom, I began to realize something. The security of our freedom in America is only found in our willingness to continue paying for it.
See, the freedom that we experience in our nation has never been secured with one payment. Unlike our eternal freedom through the sacrifice of Jesus, our freedom in America requires constant payment. It’s something we don’t like to think about. But it’s nothing short of the truth.
As a father, I cannot fathom the pain of losing one of my sons on the battlefield. But I’ve spoken with many parents who have. Their resolve and their strength are utterly amazing. And each one that I’ve spoken with has told me essentially the same thing. One of the reasons they can go on; one of the reasons they can press forward is because they believe the sacrifice their child made wasn’t made in vain. They know that the freedom of many was secured because of what their son or daughter did. And they know there will be others who step up to carry on.
My question is this: what are we willing to do to carry that sacrifice forward? I have to ask myself, what sacrifices will I make in the future to secure the freedom of others? It’s a responsibility we all have.
We cannot and we must not simply rely on others to do for us. We must take responsibility and ownership of what has been given to us by those who went before us.
You want to honor those who have gone before us? Then be willing to step up and sacrifice.
Many have. Many are. Many will. And that cost is one we need to remember today as well.