11 September 2009


image 'The Falling Man'

I was raised in a very patriotic family. My father is the embodiment of a true patriot. And, as the patriarch of the family, we always followed suit. We weren't forced to be proud of our American heritage, in fact, we were always encouraged to express our own opinions (imagine that) and were free to think as we wished. Being in the midst of man like my dad, it was hard not to quietly observe his countenance for the freedom this country has graciously provided us in our lifetimes. He was and still is a very dutiful man. He may not have always WANTED to fulfill his duty (military or otherwise), for fear of consequence or out of protest in the ideology behind the task at hand, but his duty binds him to fulfill something greater than himself.

From his quiet and humble example, I have grown to believe that God Himself gave us the gift, and sometimes the burden, of free will. It is a huge responsibility to have such a gift, and His faith in us to bear it must be surpassed ONLY by our faith in Him for bestowing it.

I count myself among millions, even billions, of lucky souls who not only posses this remarkable benefaction, but who live in a place where we can use it. Freedom does not always accompany free will. And, one without the other is troublesome and contradictory, to say the least.

Eight years ago, a group of individuals who believe differently than I, chose to take the free will AND freedom away from, nearly 3,000 people in the span of a regular work day. Those souls were not given any choice except to decide in an instant or less to surrender themselves to a heavenly end or not to.

One last, fleeting choice.

Free will under a free flag.

And because of a gracious God, and the help of men and women, like my father, that will remain one of the most profound gifts my children and I could ever receive.

Let us not forget...

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