Memorial Day

My grandfather served in World War II. I am thankful because he and thousands and thousands of others fought for the freedom I have now. The freedom to speak. The freedom to write. The freedom to criticize. The freedom to worship.

Sadly, many people today are not thankful for these freedoms, or perhaps worse, they believe that these freedoms just happen naturally. Some believe if the systems of power or oppression didn’t exist we would live in a utopian state of harmony with one another. Unfortunately thousands and thousands of years of human history would show otherwise. Freedom is elusive. Actually, I believe, most people don’t even want freedom. Sure they may say they do, but when it comes down to actions, most people would rather be safe than free. This last year has shown that to be the case.

Unfortunately, safety and freedom are almost opposites. Sure, you need some level of safety and protection of communities and borders, but on an individual level, you have to choose whether you want freedom or safety.

If you want to be free to travel you have to allow cars and other vehicles to move quickly. This may cause accidents and death and some would say is not safe, but that is freedom. If you want freedom of speech you have to be willing to allow speech you don’t like. If you want to feel safe, and eliminate speech you don’t like, then you don’t have freedom. If you want freedom of religion, you have to be willing to allow religion in public that you don’t agree with. This might make you uncomfortable, but that is the price of freedom.

My grandfather did not die in the war. I’m thankful for that. However, many were not so fortunate. Fathers and young men who never had a chance to be a father, they died. At D-Day in France, it was said that 90% of the first several boats of soldiers died right there on the beach. In the Civil war, hundreds of thousands of soldiers died. You could go war by war and count the cost, but the point is this, freedom is not free. If these soldiers had not fought, if many of them had not died, we would not have freedom and liberty for all in America today.

Today, I hope you take the time to remember and be thankful for those that have gone before and sacrificed for your freedom. If we don’t remember, we can become ungrateful for the freedom we have. Our ingratitude can lead to selfishness and our selfishness can lead us to be fooled by the lie that all this freedom happens by accident. It does not. It can not. We must continue to stand for freedom. We must continue to fight for those that cannot fight for themselves.

God Bless America.

Published by mattodegaard

Matt Odegaard

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