Monday, July 25, 2005

The Prodigal Son

I was discussing World War II with a colleague this morning. He was overawed by the incredible sacrifice normal, everyday people gave for this country. I, too, am amazed by the amount of heroic sacrifice that the people of that and other generations gave for the freedom of this country. Here we stand, enjoying that freedom as if it were a God-given right - I’m American, therefore I deserve to be free. Well, most of the world today is not free, and lives under unimaginable oppression. And in this country, our forbears fought and died so we all can be free. This new generation grows up taking this freedom for granted and is using that very freedom to degrade the government and military that gave them that liberty.

It’s like the prodigal son who grows up knowing nothing but immense wealth and all of the luxuries it affords. He is spoiled and spends the money his parents worked so hard to earn. The son even starts to soil his family’s reputation by his stupid antics in public. His parents try so hard to teach him the value of money – how most people in the world don’t have these riches, and how it took years of hard work and sacrifice to achieve that wealth. But the son doesn’t see it. He doesn’t realize the freedom and luxury his money gives him – until it is all taken away. Only then does he realize its worth.

Here is a quote from Zell Miller that always gives me the chills [read with a vivacious, emphatic southern accent for full effect]:
It is the soldier, not the reporter, who has given us the freedom of the press. It is the soldier, not the poet, who has given us freedom of speech. It is the soldier, not the agitator, who has given us the freedom to protest. It is the soldier who salutes the flag, serves beneath the flag, whose coffin is draped by the flag, who gives that protester the freedom to abuse and burn that flag.


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