For as long as I can remember, as a young boy, whenever an American came to visit Africa you could clearly see the deep conviction and belief in patriotism. There’s no doubt they would stand with boldness and confidence and say they were proud to be an American. This was something I admired about America because it cultivated a deep sense of patriotism and knew what it was to be an American. They believed in a sense of duty and service and were proud to defend the American flag at all costs.

America was founded upon the deep conviction and commitment to God and to it’s country. This was clearly displayed in how the Constitution, the pledge of allegiance and the national anthem were written. This is why we see men and women joining the forces in order to defend this nation. It is because of the deep conviction that lies within. I have spoken to a number of people who have served our military forces and they will tell you with pride and confidence that it was the greatest honor to serve their country. These are men and women who willingly choose the military lifestyle instead of a civilian life. What exactly are they trading in. When you sign up for the military you are signing away the comfort of your bedroom to potential be sleeping in the bunker in the middle of nowhere. When you sign up with the military you signvup to potentially having your kids raised by a single parent. When you sign up in the military you sign up to miss birthdays, weddings, even funerals. When you sign up in the military you sign up to potential be in the statistic of 80% of marriages that end in divorce. When you sign up in the military you are signing your life away. When you ask anybody in the military, who has served with dignity and integrity, they will all tell you that they were willing to sacrifice and pay the price because of their conviction and commitment to Patriotism and to fighting for freedom.

As a country we are obsessed in fighting for the freedom of speech and engaging in debate but we forget that we would not have the freedom of speech without having freedom in the country as a whole. We would not have freedom in our country if we did not have men and women fighting for our freedom and willing to die for it.

It is important for the American people to stand together on their deep convictions and believe in God and our country again. We are not to surrender as American people rather we all need to stand in unity as we pursue liberty in our nation. This week we celebrate our veteran men and women who are alive today, currently serving, retired and those who have lost their lives. We need to remember all the sacrifices they make. For those of us who are civilians let us regard with upmost respect and honor those who are fighting for the freedom that we are celebrating today. I pray to God that America will be reminded of who they once were and how they were committed to God and our country. We have an obligation to rebuild the sense of patriotism within this young generation. Let us make sure that they do not forget. The sacrifices the men and women in our military make are far too great for us to take lightly. To all the men and women who are serving and have served I salute you. To all the family members of those who are in service or out of the service and to those who have lost loved ones I salute you. I say thank you for your service.

As you are reflecting on this Veterans Day remember that these men and women are committed to the cause of freedom, courage, and country. Jesus Christ on the other hand was committed to the cause of the cross. To what cause are you committed too? What purpose would you dedicate your energies,

your finances, your time to? What are you willing to die for? Let us honor our country by showing respect and gratitude to our veterans.

We owe our veterans the respect of standing in salute to the flag. We should also remember to kneel before the cross in honor of Christ’s sacrifice. God bless.

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Erick Kalenga is pastor of His Village Church in Culpeper.

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