Many of you ask me about how I raise kids who care about this country. Our family makes it a priority to attend events that honor our soldiers and especially the fallen. The price paid for our freedom is simply too high to leave it a choice to recognize these sacrifices. One such event we will never miss is Wreaths Across America.
Every year, thousands gather at hundreds of cemeteries all across the country on the second Saturday of December to remember the fallen veterans of our nation’s military.
Speakers come and give their gratitude, school children sing songs or recite poems, ROTC and the Boy Scouts carry flags and march in tradition. And finally, the crowds are released and given the opportunity to place the wreaths (provided by various companies and organizations– Walmart being a big benefactor) on the graves. Children run happily through the silent stones carrying the circles of evergreen decorated with a solitary red bow. Parents and veterans walk quietly row to row, reading headstones and choosing carefully the grave they will leave their wreath at. Family members of some soldiers gather in quiet contemplation and memory of their loved one, moved by the remembrance this day in honor of their loss. And when the last wreath is placed, new acquaintances are made and thanks has been demonstrated.
Such a beautiful, somber, humbling, inspiring sight. Row upon row of graves marked with Christmas green and red. Each one a quiet thank you for a life well- lived of service in and to our nation.
Last year, our family met Brian Mast, a former Army Ranger who lost both of his legs in service to our country. Judson made a fast friend of him and now our oldest daughter is working on his congressional campaign! This man’s every step represents the cost of our freedom. His dedication to continue serving our nation, despite such loss and personal cost, is what continues to inspire us as a family that this country’s brightest days are still ahead of her.
This Christmas season, may God bless every family serving, bless those who have lost loved ones, and bless those who have given life and limb that we may be free. What an amazing country we live in where so many would willingly sacrifice for others. Bring your friends, family and neighbors to a Wreaths Across America event near you next Christmas season. It will inspire your family to recognize and remember the cost of their freedom in this great nation, while reflecting on the freedom Christ bought us with His life.