Independence Day

On the weekend when Americans celebrate their freedom, as on most holidays, my mind wanders to the incredible men and women who defend that freedom.

To those who serve, whatever their uniform or attire, I say thank you. And to their families, who make sacrifices that are so often overlooked, I offer my heartfelt gratitude and respect.

Our country exists because of brave souls like them who, 240 years ago, summoned their courage and refused to yield, using whatever talents they could offer to construct the framework of a new country.

May we never take that hard-won freedom for granted and may we ever be inspired to find for our talents a bold and beautiful purpose. Happy Independence Day.

A hero: Malala Yousufzai

Halfway around the world today, a 14-year-old girl was shot. Not because she was hanging with the wrong crowd. Not because she did drugs or anything like that. It was because she dared to stand up for something, because she dared to say education is important, even for women.

She was shot by the Taliban. Once in the head, once in the neck.

A 14-year-old girl.

Her name is Malala Yousufzai and she is Pakistani. She’s in stable condition, but the Taliban warned that “if she survives this time, she won’t next time.”

A 14-year-old girl. (more…)

honor

Growing up in a military town, honor had a very specific meaning to me. It meant service to country. It meant being a good citizen. It meant respect for others. In that town, military men and women were respected as heroes.

I was sorry to find that concept of honor wasn’t as widespread outside military towns. Oh, there are plenty of people who feel as I do. But there are also plenty of people who think soldiers are war-obsessed idiots or were tricked into serving. Those views demean the people who protect us.

Yes, sometimes I wish war didn’t exist. I wish everyone in every country was given freedom. But that’s not the case. And freedom — it’s worth fighting for. (more…)