Even though freedom is afforded by GOD and underwritten by our Constitution, there is a price required. When you consider how much ours has cost in loss of limbs and lives, one cannot but humbly appreciate all that sacrifice. Someone is paying or has paid the full price for every bit of freedom I enjoy. It was Sunday and I was riding my new bike on the sidewalk in front of my grandparent’s house on East Third when our fire siren sounded and my Dad ran out of the house, grabbed me and ran back in. I couldn’t imagine what had happened. It was worse than the night Orson Welles broadcast his “War of the Worlds”, when everyone listening panicked. Only this time it was for real. It was December 7, 1941 and our entire navy was wiped out by the Japanese in Pearl Harbor. Our lives changed that day. Our comfortable existence was put on hold and our young men and women donned uniforms and rushed off to be trained to fight for our Freedom. My Dad went away to build Army Camps all over Texas. My Mother joined other ladies in knitting scarves and sweaters to send overseas. Lucky Strike Cigarettes gave up their ‘green’ label and changed to ‘red’ so that there could be more green for camouflage. Then came “Rationing”! Stamps were issued that were exchanged for the purchase of sugar, butter (thus came Oleomargarine), some meats (thus came SPAM), tires, gasoline and worst of all – nylon hosiery! There was always grumbling, especially for those who traveled to sell things. There was a lot of ‘blackmarketering’ going on, but for most of us, it was a time of restrictions – a loss of freedom. Every American had a role to play by giving up things so that those who served could serve to the best of their ability. From the time I was ten-years-old until middle-school, things were tight. Americans proudly gave up many comforts and when Old Glory waved and our National Anthem played prior to the Sunday Matinee at the Martin Theater, thousands cheered! Folks my age lived through those difficult times and many folks much younger never came home. We got serious about honoring and protecting our God Given Freedom. No American Flag ever was carried by without everyone standing with hand-on-heart. We are proud to be an American. We would sacrifice even our lives to protect her. People think they have it rough today, but what that says to me is that resolve is weakened and patriotism is an ugly word. The “Wounded Warrior” appeal shouts a loud warning! Selfies are more popular than service. Yet, GOD continues to allow us the benefit of HIS GRACE and MERCY. As far as I am concerned this packed house of candidates for The Oval Office is exciting. Perhaps from the gang, one will emerge with the courage to lead in GOD’s WAY and there will be a change of heart on the part of those of us who remain. I have faith in our nation. I am not willing to roll over and cry, “Se Sera, Sera!” I’ve paid the price for freedom and am doggone ready to do so again. This IS MY Country and She’s the Best There Is, Warts and All! GOD BLESS Us All!
(I am experiencing some internet problems. New equipment is on the way. WaterWader may be quiet for a day or so, but “I Shall Return”, donchaknow)