smiles to all. The grills have been cleaned and there may be a few leftovers
from the cookouts in the fridge. The anticipation of celebrating our
independence has waned but the memories are good. We have a lot to be
thankful for - we are a free nation.
thanking hem for their service to our nation. Ever since September 11, 2001
there has been greater awareness of the duties fulfilled by
our servicewomen and servicemen and their selfless acts which preserve
daily life we may not take stock of freedom's import unless
we are reminded by some extreme event of how valued and how
fleeting it truly is.
different anniversary. Five years ago Gilad Shalit, a soldier who was 19,
standing by a road and minding his own business was kidnapped by Hamas
terrorists. He has been held in captivity in Gaza for 5 years. In violation of
the Geneva Convention and all international norms he has been denied
access to the International Red Cross, supervised medical care or any communication
with his family or his government. In March of 2009 Israel traded 20 female
prisoners who had been accused of terrorism for a DVD of Gilad
Shalit. No indication of his health or life has been received since. It makes
me think about what it means to be free.
You, 0 God, who has opened my eyes." "Blessed are You, 0 God, who has helped
me to get dressed." "Blessed are You, 0 God, who has helped me to stretch my legs
and walk." "Blessed are You, 0 God, who helps me to stand
upright." Each blessing helps us to welcome a new day. One of the blessings
reads as follows, "Blessed are You, God, ruler of the universe, who has made me
After all, growing up in the United States I take being free for granted. This
year as Gilad's anniversary of capture nearly coincided with July 4th I began
to think about "being free." It occurs to me that it is truly a blessing and I
should not take it for granted. I will not ask you to pray for the release of a
24 year old stranger until he comes home for that is too
burdensome. But after reading this blog, I ask you to pray for his release for three days.