I was bound by all sorts of rules, many of them… stupid. In a small way, I felt my freedom was taken from me in the hour I was allowed visitation. I can still remember the exhilarating feeling as I left the complex. Stopping at a Stuckey’s on the drive home never felt so good.

If my limited lack of freedom for one small stretch of time was so impactful, what must it have been like for an Iraqi citizen under the reign of ? How would I feel if it was ? And who could I trust if I lived in ? I do not take my freedom for granted.

I got an email from Kathy recently. She was emailing her address book to let us know what happened to her just before the mid-term elections. She was moderating a candidate’s debate for the non-partisan  at the local high school.  It quickly turned ugly and she became the victim of a plan to disrupt the debate. It was a stunt staged to gain media attention, and it worked. She’s been the trending topic on Twitter, , and evil Un-American du jour for a certain Fox news commentator. !

"Patriotism... is not short, frenzied outbursts of emotion, but the tranquil and steady dedication of a lifetime."  

This quote is from a man who witnessed the atrocities of .  As Kathy’s story reminds us, it is just as relevant today. We are living in a time when small-minded idiots with personal agendas are allowed unlimited sound bites. It seems that in the clamor to be more "American" than our neighbor, it’s OK to brand someone a traitor unless they can pass a sensationally slanted pop-quiz.

I give thanks of the highest order to true patriots; men and women who honor the political system and play it straight. I give thanks to compassionate leaders and loyal supporters who respect the right of each one of us to believe as we choose. I give thanks to the soldiers, past and present who defend our country, so that we may know that justice is served and freedom prevails.


I woke this morning in America,
and I know what freedom is.

Where there is injustice,
I am free to fight.
Where there is silence,
I am free to speak,
Where there is hate,
I am free to love.

And when I grope in the darkness for understanding,
I am free to seek the light—
I am free to find You.

Thank You for this bold and open-hearted nation,
and for the bold and open-hearted leaders who protect
my life of precious liberty.
Tonight, my soul explodes with praise,
my joy bursting its colors against the night sky.



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