Saturday, July 4, 2009

Meaning in Freedom

Originally this next post was going to be about shopping bags (stay tuned), but my outlet for procrastination has, itself, become something to procrastinate. :) Rather, today I wanted to share something a little more personal and a little bit more serious than normal, something I rarely do, and never in a public forum. Some folks may not know (because I don't share) my brother and cousin are both over seas in the service, serving in the Army and Marines respectively. Their names have been in temples, and on our lips as we pray countless times. When my 4 year old nephew helps me pray (one word at a time), he always remembers Uncle Kevin. I know my family experience is not unique, nor could it ever be par for course. It does however, bring a different meaning for me on this day. The sacrifice and bravery of our service men and women was always abstract, distant thought that I could intellectualize but could never connect with. Today, my freedom is connected to lives, with people, with family. I hope I can keep this testimony, if you will, of the cost of today's picnic, tomorrows worship service, my outrage in politics, my choices in life. I want to grow this new understanding, now in its infancy, of what the 4th means, the original meaning of our holidays honoring our veterans, and the fallen, who gave the last full measure of devotion for each of us. But most of my hope is for my brother and cousin. Happy independence day.