Why ironic? Because this day, in which you hear people griping is about honoring those men and women who have served and, in far too many cases, died to protect those very freedoms.
I just came back from several days in China, a nation not exactly known for its embrace of honoring the rights of its citizens, and each time I go there, I am reminded of just how fortunate we are as a nation to have the freedoms that we do. We are free to express ourselves as we desire, although based on the absolute hysteria, vitriol and rancor on Facebook and Twitter during the longest.presidential.campaign.ever, a little Chinese-style media clampdown may not have been such a bad thing. I will say this, I was in Shanghai on Election Day and Chinese media coverage of the U.S. election was subdued at best - take a note, American media networks. We are free to do as we please within the bonds of the law and we are free to make the life that we want, regardless of who sits in the White House. We still live in a place where we are free to control our destiny. I worry that we take our freedoms for granted and that we spend far too much time blaming the other side of whatever side of the political spectrum you are on for what ails us. We just need to take a long deep relaxing breath as a nation.
We are enormously fortunate to live in a country wherein its citizens voluntarily serve to protect it and its freedoms. It has been that way since this country was founded. I am humbled by the sacrifice of those who have volunteered to serve this nation and to protect it. I am grateful for what they have done. I am moved by those who have given their lives for it. I've talked about a book and a movie that for me sum up the sacrifices of those who have served here in the Den before and I'll refer to them again now:
Read this book - "Final Salute" by Jim Sheeler
Watch this movie - "Taking Chance"
You''ll be glad you did. You'll be all the more grateful for those who have served.
Thank you to our veterans.