Made in His Image would like to wish you a very happy and safe 4th of July! We would especially like to honor past and present members of the military. Your sacrifices for us are unfathomable, so we enjoy the comforts of everyday freedom. Thank you for your service, which depicts astounding courage and radiates patriotism. Happy 4th of July!
I would like to welcome a very special guest writer to our blog today, my brother, former Captain James Byrne, USMC. Thank you James. Thank you Susan for loving my brother, your courage and strength is extraordinary. I love you both.
By: Former Captain James Byrne, USMC
Over the past six years, I have served in the United States Marine Corps and as of June 26, 2012 I have left the Marines to pursue other adventures in my life. But, this 4th of July I have been left to ponder the meaning of the word Freedom. As I look back on my six years of service in the Marines, I am acutely aware of the meaning of freedom and I am convinced that the Marines’ I led understood it too.
Our founding fathers wrote these immortal words…That they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. As I look around this 4th of July and as I listen to the noise being generated from our nation’s capital and across this land about the meaning of freedom I am perplexed. I am perplexed because I don’t believe people understand what freedom means.
Freedom in a free society is not absolute and does not guarantee you the ability to act in the way that you want or to receive the things that you want all the time. Freedom is the ability to have life, liberty and to pursue happiness within one’s ability to do so. Freedom is not living off the hard work and sweat of others because you can’t afford to pay for the things that you want but cannot afford. Freedom is living as you would want within a set of moral and social constructs. But freedom in and of itself does not guarantee an easy road to happiness. It allows you to pursue your own happiness, but, not to be handed it. Nothing is this world is free and those that take for granted their freedom forget that it was purchased at a high cost. A cost of which none of us could ever repay.
Throughout my travels in the military, I have had the privilege to travel to many far away places. Places that do not enjoy the freedom that we enjoy as citizens of this great country. Things such as the ability to vote, the right to express yourself freely and openly without fear, the right to express your religious convictions in the manner in which you choose, as well as the ability to pursue your own personal happiness each and every day. These experiences have taught me to value this gift and it has also given me some perspective into the lives of other people. My conclusion has been, that our lives in America are far better because of the richness of liberty that we enjoy, than anywhere else in the world.
On this 4th of July, I pray that we all take time to contemplate what freedom means and how we can go about doing our part to preserve it for future generations.