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That We Might Be Free

from the May 29, 2007 eNews issue
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"It is, in a way, an odd thing to honor those who died in defense of our country, in defense of us, in wars afar away. The imagination plays a trick. We see these soldiers in our mind as old and wise. We see them as something like the Founding Fathers, grave and gray-haired. But most of them were boys when they died, and they gave up two lives, the one they were living and the one they would have lived. When they died, they gave up their chance to be husbands and fathers and grandfathers. They gave up their chance to be revered old men. They gave up everything for our country, for us. And all we can do is remember." - Ronald Reagan

It began on April 19, 1775 at the battle of Lexington and Concord. It was this famous revolutionary battle that was preceded by the midnight ride of Paul Revere and made immortal by the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson, who wrote:

"By the rude bridge that arched the flood
Their flag to April's breeze unfurled
Here once the embattled farmers stood
And fired the shot heard round the world."

The battle of Lexington and Concord marked the beginning of Colonial America's war for independence. It was then the blood of the first American patriots was spilled. From that day until this, many of our men and women have willingly given their lives for the cause of freedom – in many wars, on many continents, with varying degrees of support from the home front.

The blood shed on September 11, 2001 became the catalyst in the war on terrorism. That tragic event briefly united Americans in a common cause, however that unity has splintered. National tragedy may have amalgamated the masses, but growing differences in values and philosophy have driven a wedge down the middle of American society. Americans are fighting a battle both in foreign lands and here at home. In the war against terrorism our enemy is easily defined, however the domestic battle lines are more muddled. As a nation we have begun to abandon the faith and values of our founding fathers.

Let us assess the State of the Union in the mirror of God's Word. Homosexuality is accepted as simply "an alternative lifestyle." We murder babies that are socially inconvenient. We change marriage partners like a fashion statement. We have abandoned the sanctity of commitments in our families and in our businesses. Immorality and deceit have come to characterize the highest offices in our land. We have allowed God to be banished from public school classrooms and we have watched as religious expression is constrained under the auspices of "separation of church and state." Our mainline media takes pride in forming public opinion rather than informing it, which had been its sacred role in a representative republic. Our culture has disconnected character from destiny. Our entertainments celebrate adultery, fornication, violence, aberrant sexual practices and every imaginable form of evil. We have become the primary exporters of everything that God abhors.

Today, in the Middle East, thousands of US soldiers are fighting to protect the values and freedoms that we too often take for granted. Now, more than ever, our troops need your support and encouragement. Gone are the days of the ticker-tape parades that welcomed our troops home from battle. Media coverage of the war in Iraq focuses more on the death toll than the heroic accomplishments of our men and women in uniform. Please take some time this week to pray for spiritual healing for our nation, wisdom for our leaders, and safety for our soldiers fighting overseas. This Memorial Day let us truly honor those who have given their lives in the line of duty so that we might be free.

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