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Freedom is wonderful, costly, catastrophic

Ole Glory hung in massive, regal form behind the church choir and orchestra that were dressed in an array of red, white and blue. It was freedom celebration day in a congregation that sat in public worship in comfortable pews and A/C temps.

The singing was resounding — nothing like I knew the underground church in foreign lands was enjoying. Those churches meet in small groups, out of sight and must always sing in whispers. We need to celebrate our freedom. Freedom is wonderful.

Uniformed soldiers stood tall and at attention as the orchestra played music from our military branches. Slides of white crosses stretching over the somber burial grounds of Normandy were a visible jolt to any who might carelessly regard America’s freedom. We must remember. Freedom is costly.

My mind returned to that vivid image of a military officer that knocked at my parents’ door one July morning. The news was unimaginable. For our family, freedom took on another meaning. Freedom is catastrophic.

Ole Glory has stretched her banner over the masses seeking freedom and stood for freedom no other nations have known. However, it seems her stars and stripes are being stretched to her limits — pulled much further than the founding fathers ever intended.

With such liberty and opportunities in America, I wonder how anyone could burn our flag, refuse to stand for her anthem, or trample on the very banner that men on Iwo Jima risked their lives to see unfurled.

“Sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Long may our land be bright, with freedom’s holy light. Protect us by thy might, great God, our King.”

The words were engraved in my patriotic memory as I thought about how our great nation will fare in the days ahead. It seems obvious that the missing ingredient that will return our nation to respect and appreciate its beloved freedoms will be God’s holy light to shine in the hearts of the blinded.

Letters to Camille Anding can be sent to P.O. Box 551, Brookhaven, MS, 39602, or e-mailed to camille@datalane.net.