I have a great respect for the men and women of the American Armed Forces. I claim two U.S. Navy Captains (both retired) as my friends, and I pray for, and correspond with two of my friends who are serving in Afghanistan.
I honour our military. I do so especially on Memorial Day and on Veteran’s Day.
Now comes Independence Day. It’s a fabulous day for Americans, one on which we pause to give thanks (to God) for our independence and freedoms.
It’s a day on which I always read the Declaration of Independence.
But it irks me when I am told that the only defenders of liberty are the good women and men of our Armed Forces. I thank goodness for them...
... but I also thank goodness for the poets, preachers, philosophers, politicians (yes politicians), playwrights and publishers who have worked to secure our liberty.
I thank goodness for the union leaders, civil rights martyrs, and brave civic leaders who have fought and even died for freedom.
I thank goodness for school teachers, nurses, physicians, business leaders, and factory workers who have led us to increased liberty.
I thank goodness for courageous broadcasters, journalists, and newspaper editors.
I thank goodness for brave Judges.
I thank goodness for suffragettes and feminists. And for the gay and lesbian citizens who refused to be silenced.
I thank goodness for remarkable and wise historians and authors.
I give thanks for the scientists whose quest for knowledge is also a quest for wisdom.
Finally I give thanks this 4th July for the semi-anonymous old widows, and the brash young students who love liberty more than life.