When I talk about patriotism, I mean the term in the best sense: the love for and loyalty to one’s country that doesn’t denigrate other great nations and their citizens. This is the country of my birth, and I feel so blessed that God placed me here, where I have the liberty, peace, and opportunities that are denied so many people around the world.
On December 7, 1941 the United States was attacked suddenly, secretly, and without provocation at Pearl Harbor. Outrage at that unprovoked attack resulted in the greatest war effort ever known to quell the aggressions of Germany and Japan. Almost sixty years later, on September 11, 2001, we were once again attacked in the same way. And again the citizens of our great nation initially pulled together to begin a war on terrorism. But now, after the passage of only eight years, the horror of that day have faded, and most of us have settled back into to our everyday lives without much thought of the immense losses suffered by so many and the continuing sacrifices our servicemen and women make daily to preserve our freedom and security.
In doing research for the historical fiction series I am writing about the American Revolution, I’m humbled and moved by the heroism of that first Greatest Generation that won our liberty for us at such great personal cost. Today so few citizens of this country know much about what happened so many years ago, yet if those events had never happened, this nation would not exist. Time and again I’m confronted by the realization that few even care, and it breaks my heart.
Will the same be true of our soldiers and their families who endured hardship in WWII, Korea, Vietnam, the Gulf Wars, and Afghanistan and Iraq? Do we forget so quickly, so easily, the incredible sacrifices these heros have made and are making on our behalf?
Each year on the anniversaries of these attacks, I hope we will set aside time to remember and reflect on the men and women who, down through more than 200 years of our history, gave their all so that you and I could live in freedom. May God continue to bless America as we resolve to obey His laws and cherish the blessings of liberty we enjoy.
* Photo of USS Virginia.