There is always a price tag for freedom. The freedom to be, to have, to do....is costly.
We know the history of the American Revolution and how the colonists grouped together to form a "government of the people, for the people...to form a more perfect union than was ever known or conceived".
And there it stood, head and shoulders above the Magna Charta of England, as revolutionary as it was when it was formed in 1215.
This charter of civil liberties came about when wealthy barons forced King John to give his assent at Runnymede.
It was a document constituting a fundamental guarantee of rights and privileges.(Webster's Dictionary).
It cost dearly the lives of many men from the rag-tag armies of the Eastern Seaboard Colonies.
But in 1776, it was clear that Americans were willing to pay the cost of freedom.
Uncle Sam was born with a flag in his hand, smile on his face and a soldier with a gun marching along beside him.
Years passed and other wars appeared (Indians, Spanish, French, British, Mexican, and the Civil War).
With each one came much destruction, death and heavy debts. Yet, our country grew beyond the destruction of war.
In the twentieth century the great World Wars, Korean and Viet Nam "wars", brought more havoc, great losses of lives, and untold amount of resources from countries involved.
Yet, Uncle Sam marched on, past the many crosses on the the hillsides, amid the sound of taps and the '21 gun salutes'.
With Desert Storm came a new challenge to the world.
For the first time the enemy was invisible, hidden behind sand dumes, dust and mirages in the desert. We could not idenitfy our true enemy.
Yet we were there, helping the locals deal with the horrors of war: the children, schools, hospitals, water & food and the like.
Uncle Sam was there spreading freedom's cry, ready to give a helping hand.
Car bombs, guided missiles and suicide bombers all ring out still in parts of the world, yet freedom marches on.
But not without great cost. We all have paid dearly. Some have paid the ultimate - their lives.
Families have given their dads, husbands, sons, brothers, sisters, close relatives.
Many suffer from deep wounds and will never be the same. We, who have never been to war, cannot comprehend the depth of emotional and physical damage that has been done on thousands of our young men and women who survived.
They will have to deal with these issues for life. We will too.
And freedom continues to march proudly through the streets of America, to the tune of the "Star-Spangled Banner"....and there goes Uncle Sam...leading the way.
May we always be the 'land of the brave and free' but may we also realize that "freedom has a high cost " attached.
Religious liberty also has a high price tag for sure. "In God we trust" must remain our motto, or else our freedoms will not always march through the streets of our nation. Celebrate freedom. Pray for our nation.