More Than Remembering: Thoughts on Memorial Day 2013

memorial day 2013“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same.”
Ronald Reagan

This quote by Ronald Reagan was read during church yesterday in remembrance of Memorial Day. All those who have served in the Armed Forces were recognized and even received a standing ovation. It was great.  I always appreciate it when someone takes the time to remember our freedoms and honor those who have fought for them. Yet one thing still gnawed at me as I heard this great quote by one of our greatest Presidents.

Reagan said that freedom is not passed down to our children through the bloodstream. He said it must be fought for, protected, and handed down. Sadly, even though great quotes like this are read and posted on social media sites, most people do nothing more than remember and honor those who served our country. What does it mean to fight for freedom to those who are not in the military? How exactly does a regular citizen protect freedom? How do we truly pass freedom on to the next generation and generations to come?

As I speak with more and more people, I realize more and more people know that they are losing more and more of their freedoms. Our government is out of control in their push for more and more regulations. There continues to be more and more laws on the books, and people are becoming more and more unsettled with the state of our nation. And this isn’t a partisan belief. Those on the left, right, and middle all are becoming more and more dissatisfied.

So let me ask again, how do we fight for, protect, and hand down our freedoms? Three years ago I couldn’t have answered those questions confidently. Now I can. The idea of freedom isn’t new. People throw it around like a blown up beach ball at a graduation. It isn’t freedom that needs to be understood so much as the principles of freedom. When this nation was founded, there were principles that were clearly understood which would provide the most freedom for the individual and nation as a whole. The Center for Social Leadership has a simple blog Losing America’s Heritage that explains the bulk of these principles. They include:

  • Valuing relationships over materialism
  • Strong families
  • Frugality
  • Trust in God and morality
  • Personal responsibility
  • Freedom
  • Personal choice
  • Private property, ownership, free enterprise
  • The best traditions of the past
  • Improving the future
  • Rule by the people, not some group of elites
  • Inalienable rights
  • Government that works for the people, not vice versa
  • An active citizenry that stands up for freedom

Understanding these basic principles along with financial intelligence, accountability within government (checks and balances), and what should be a limited role that government is supposed to play are principles which must be taught to our current population in order for them to be passed down to future generations.

This leads me to ask one more question. Who will teach these principles? Where are they learned? After all, I was not taught these principles as a whole. I learned some here and there in my family, my church, and perhaps some in school, but overall, these principles are no longer the norm in our society, and  certainly not within the context of national freedom. So yes, I learned some of the principles, but was never systematically taught them as “principles of freedom” needed to fight for, protect, and preserve our country, that could be passed down to our children and children’s children.

So who are teaching these principles as a whole? Who in this nation is teaching in one place all of the principles outlined above? I’m sure there are a few others, but the only one that I know of systematically leading the charge in the fight for and to preserve our freedoms is LIFE Leadership.

People who get involved with LIFE are often like I was. We are looking for a means to create another income stream and like what we see. But over the weeks and months our eyes are opened to the need to do more than get by. We no longer fall for the lie of “doing pretty good.” I absolutely love what Oliver DeMille said in the attached video. It does not matter if we are the best chair organizers of all time if we are doing so on the sinking Titanic. It does not matter if we are the best soccer players, hikers, campers, rock climbers, swimmers, volunteers, or even the best spouses, parents, employees, or employers if our nation is collapsing. Yet, in being involved with LIFE one will learn to be a better spouse, parent, employee, employer, volunteer, while also becoming part of the solution that will halt this sinking nation and reverse its decline.

How do we best honor those who have served this great nation? How do we best remember those who have fallen in the fight for freedom? We do so by becoming involved with people who are willing to become involved with an organization committed to restoring and preserving our freedoms.

I highly recommend watching the attached video as well as ordering the book, LeaderShift, that the Orrin Woodward and Oliver DeMille discuss in the video. Happy Memorial Day, 2013. May we be more free next year at this time.


About Bryan Vashus

I am passionate about living a life of purpose. There is a purpose in being a spouse, a parent, a leader, and a person. I live in such a way as to fulfill the purpose in each area of my life and help others do the same. I have an amazing wife, Courtnee, who shares in this pursuit with me, two children, Hannah and Joshua, who bring immeasurable amounts of joy to my life. My family is united together in truly helping people and impacting them with the grace and love of God everywhere we go.
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