Saturday, November 13, 2010

The American Spirit

(this is my submission to our Cub Scout Pack Achievement to write 'why America is special to me'. As their Den Leader, I felt compelled to add a few words of my own.)

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness.” Declaration of Independence July 4, 1774.

  That, Scouts, is the basis of what has made our United States of America so great. Our nation’s founding fathers knew that for people to be truly free, they must be in charge of their own destiny. At the time of America declaring it’s independence from Great Britain, the citizens had already been fighting a war against a British military sent over to the colonies to collect taxes and enforce British laws that would only benefit the King. The Americans took on this battle against a mighty army with only their hunting rifles and a strong will to be free from tyranny.
This will to be free and preserve the rights of all people has come to be known as the American Spirit. The American Spirit is what makes our country so great. It has kept us a free nation for 236 years and, I believe, will keep us free for thousands of years to come. Our Constitution guarantees these freedoms by setting up a form of government in which it is the citizens who are ultimately in charge, and whose basic laws are based on centuries old teachings of faith. It is the American Spirit that lured our ancestors to come to America in search of a better life for them and their future generations. It would be the American Spirit that would prevail in battles all over the world, not only to preserve the freedom of all people in America, but also to help establish democracy in other countries, so that others could know true freedom. It has been the American Spirit that has driven us, the U.S., to be the leader of industry for hundreds of year; coming up with new inventions, and new ways of doing things better. The U.S. is a leader in helping those less fortunate than ourselves; lending a hand in times of need, and welcoming those in search of a better life;
"Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"
                                                                                                                                                  Emma Lazarus
It is the American Spirit that we Scouts need to carry with us everyday.
-Abide by the Golden Rule: "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."
-Work hard for what you want, never take anything you didn’t first earn.
-Keep dreaming. And do what it takes to make those dreams come true.
-Respect your body. Respect others. Respect nature and keep our environment clean.
-Volunteer, help someone else, help your country, do a good turn every chance you get.
-Thank a soldier, living and passed, for allowing the American Spirit to live on.
***Together, with our American Spirit, we all continue to make America
“the last best place to live” on Earth!***


Thursday, November 11, 2010

 The Least I Could Do?

It was mentioned earlier today how I didn't jump on the wagon and post a thank you to our military veterans today. No dishonor was meant by not posting. Simple words on a social network website just doesn't seem like enough.

  I prefer to thank each and every military hero with whose path mine crosses, with a firm handshake, a pat on the back, (or a hug, if appropriate) and a true heartfelt "Thank You for everything". If sitting at a stop light, next to a vehicle adorned with a Purple Heart plate or War Veteran bumper sticker, a kind wave is the least I could do in exchange for their service.

  Every chance I get, I ride with a special group of folks known as the Patriot Guard. These folks (mostly veterans themselves) stand guard in both blazing heat and blistering cold, for our Military Heroes and their families who have made the ultimate sacrifice for us, U.S. It's the least I could do to stand with my brothers and sisters in a peaceful assembly showing our gratitude for all they have done.

  I continue the fight for freedom here on our homeland. I vote. Not with emotion, not to make history nor to make myself feel all warm and fuzzy inside, but I educate myself on the issues, and the candidates views on those issues, and vote according to who I feel could do the best good for our country. I fight for our rights through legislation. I write my elected officials, reminding them they work for U.S. and are bound by the guidelines set forth in our Constitution. I am an active member of a gun rights lobbying group. We fight everyday to retain the rights we have and regain those that have been allowed to slip away. Without our right to defend ourselves against tyrannical governments, either foreign and domestic, every other freedom we hold dear, can and will be lost. It's the least I can do to fight stateside for the very freedoms and ideals our founding fathers established, and that every veteran of conflict fought for and died for. If we allow our rights to eroded by the 'winds of change' (yeah I went there), every sacrifice made on the battlefield since 1775, is all for naught. It would be a disgrace to all who have served to allow this country to fall into the hands of the very evil that they fought so hard to rid the world of.

  I work hard, I pay (more than) my fair share of taxes. I don't expect anything I didn't work for. I try everyday to adhere to the Golden Rule. I volunteer to those causes to which I feel can make the most difference. I educate myself on the history of our United States and the founding principles which make this land the last greatest place on earth. And it's the least I can do to instill in our children these values, their heritage, as my parents did, and those before them; through volunteering in programs such as the Boy Scouts of America.

  So, if it makes you feel better about yourself to post a few words on a public medium, then by all means, go ahead, it's your right. But I ask of you today, and everyday henceforth, to stop for a moment in your 'busy' life and ask yourself; "Have I done enough today? Did I give a little more of myself, or did I just do enough to get by another day? What could I have done today, to bring honor to the sacrifices made and hard work endured by those before me to ensure the freedoms we all hold so dear? What's THE LEAST I COULD DO?"   Do something, anything, but remember that it can never compare to the sacrifices of those before us.

  I'm not perfect, far from it. None of us are, compared to (y)our God. But I do believe that those who are willing to fight for the very ideals and principles our great nation was founded upon, will have a special place beside Him when our time on earth is through. And when I walk through that Heavenly Gate, I will be sure to shake the hand of every man and woman in uniform I meet as I will know they are more deserving of being there than I. It's the least I could do. (but it would still not be enough!)

(another sleeplessness fueled moment of passionate rambling)