Scripture tells us in Ecclesiastes 3:1, “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens” and this time of year is a wonderful and spectacular example of this truth.
Along with the natural changes from summer to autumn occurring so vividly around us, we are also in the season of changing our elected leaders. With elections at all levels of our civic government and our own Chapter Executive Board elections, we witness a changing of the guard, and the promise of new possibilities and future potential.
In my view, the most important part, and the part for which I am most thankful, is that I live in a country where I have a voice in my Nation’s government, in our Nation’s government.
Do you remember from history lessons in school about, “the shot heard around the world”? Poet Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote those words as part of a commemoration honoring the first shots fired between colonists and British soldiers in Concord and Lexington on April 19, 1775. These shots were the first fired in what would become the American Revolutionary War which of course eventually led to the creation of the United States of America. Why do you think Emerson chose these words? I believe he chose them because it was out of that first fight that a free nation was born, free of a ruler, a monarchy, a tyrant. The ratification of the US Constitution created, for the first time in recorded history, a nation of citizens who would elect a representative government, a government established on the belief that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. Our amazing Constitution begins with the proclamation, “We the People”. A new era for mankind began that sent shivers through tyrannical leaders across the globe, and the United States continues to stand as a beacon of light and hope for all. I am forever thankful to be an American and part of, “the People” with the freedom to live my life and to have a say in who governs over me. As a Veteran, I swore an oath to support and defend the Constitution, not an individual nor a political party. This is indeed a very special and unique oath.
As you ride through the trees of brilliant color and feel the chill of the temperature changes this month, I encourage you to take a moment to reflect on the many liberties we enjoy in our remarkable Nation. Pause on Veteran’s Day to honor our Veterans, and when it comes time to give a Thanksgiving Day toast, raise your glass to our Nation’s Veterans and their families. Because Veterans like us and families like ours have had a hand in creating and keeping this great country the land of the free and home of the brave since the beginning. Something for which we are all thankful.
I am thankful for you all, and I thank you for your service to this country I love so much.