I have a pet peeve. Well let’s be honest, I have SEVERAL pet peeves. Today, however, I am going to focus in on one of them and share with you why I think it’s a big enough deal to share with you.
Two weeks ago, I was blessed with the opportunity to serve God on a mission trip to Merville-Franceville, France. As many of you know, my heart is in France. It has been since I was (8) years old. I love the people, the culture, the life, EVERYTHING. I also love their sense of pride in their country and how much they fought to have the country they have today. Do I agree with EVERYTHING they believe and how they run their country? Not entirely, but I definitely think they stand for what they believe and support it. They have a lot at stake in their country’s leadership and much blood was shed to make it happen. As some of you may or may not know, France celebrates their day of independence, Bastille Day, on July 14th (1789) of every year. It’s a great celebration. I would LOVE to be there one year to join in with them. What happened in the next three years is epic in the history of France. In less than 3 years, they were able to move the monarchy government back to Paris and move to a republic, no longer under the authority of a King with absolute power. They were able to make a huge change in their country, their government, and their people that still rings true today. I may not be a Frenchman, but anytime I heard their national anthem, La Marseillaise, I am moved to tears to think of the freedom those men and women fought for, the lives lost, and the freedom gained by their selfless behavior.
As I am sure many of you know, there is also a famous day in America that we honor. This day came after years and years of a monarchy style government the came from across the ocean. A day where we as Americans finally received our freedom from a government that repressed the American people and stood for everything we were fighting against. This day as we should all know and cherish is July 4th (1776). This is our Independence Day. This is the day we were given the right to choose our leaders for our country. This is the day we were given the right to choose what our country beliefs and stands for. This is the day that we became FREE. If you notice, we gained our freedom 13 years prior to France. Not only did it offer us freedom but sparked a desire in another country in need of the freedom we received. We are in such a battle over who will be our president, what we will stand for in our country, and so much more, that we often forget to celebrate the freedom we have to believe what we believe, to CHOOSE a leader who supports these believes, and not be held for acts of tyranny for supporting the candidate who did not become our next leader. We too often times forget the privilege we have in being FREE and the right that we have that so many people fought and died for so we could have this FREEDOM. My heart breaks to think of the men and women who died in vain when someone decides they don’t want to vote. My heart breaks for the countries ruled by a dictator that would love the opportunity to actually say what they think without fear of him or his family being killed. My heart breaks for how often we forget that this FREEDOM we have was not FREE, it was bought with a high price.
So this election season all I request is that you vote and make your voice heard. I am not here to push any political agenda other than VOTE. Take advantage of the freedom we’ve been given and all that went into making it possible for us to have our voices heard. I am so grateful for my country and the freedom I have. I am proud to be an American and have the right I have tomorrow. This is one of the biggest ways we can say “thank you” and show our gratitude to those that gave us this freedom. I know I am grateful and will be casting my vote. Join me!
O say can you see by the dawn’s early light,
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming,
Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight,
O’er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming?
And the rockets’ red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there;
O say does that star-spangled banner yet wave,
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?