By Lonnie Wilkey
Editor, Baptist and Reflector
We are living in a day when we are more interested in revising or even, in some cases, eliminating history than we are in learning from it.
Sir Winston Churchill once said, “Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”
America is failing miserably. We haven’t learned anything in our 200-plus year history.
We are living in a time when the nation’s founding fathers are having their names taken off buildings and public places because many of them owned slaves.
Should they have owned slaves? Of course not. Should we forget what they did to make this country free and great? Of course not. We need a return of common sense.
History reminds us slavery was wrong then and it’s wrong today. We can see that clearly today because of history.
I can’t help but think about the irony of the age in which we live as Veterans Day approaches on Nov. 11.
The United States is arguably the greatest country in the world in which to live in terms of the freedoms we enjoy.
Yet, so many people today either have forgotten, or more sadly, never learned what made our country what it is today.
People have the freedom to bash our country and disrespect its flag because of thousands upon thousands of men and women who fought to make this country great. Many of these veterans paid the ultimate price for our freedoms as they died on the battlefields across the several centuries.
I listen to people gripe about how bad this country is as they cash their checks for millions of dollars for playing a game or performing. I watch professional athletes take a knee as “The Star Spangled Banner” is sung.
Most of them have no clue as to how blessed they are. Over my nearly three decades with the Baptist and Reflector I have had the opportunity to travel to several other countries.
Trust me, these athletes would not be making millions of dollars in Cuba or Africa or the Philippines. They might get some privileges because of their status as athletes but they would never earn the income they make in the United States.
What’s more, if they voiced their displeasure with their country or leadership in those countries, they might risk imprisonment or even death.
Yet, in the United States, we can bash the country because we are “free” to do so.
People are free to do whatever they want, but don’t disrespect our nation’s veterans because they are the reason we have that freedom.
Every time an athlete takes a knee when the national anthem is played it is a slap in the face to the men and women who have served our country. It’s shameful.
God gets the credit for our nation still being the best nation in the world (and only because of His grace and mercy can we still make that claim), but He used our veterans to make it happen.
On Veterans Day this year, thank the veterans you know or see in the restaurants and grocery stores you frequent. Make sure you thank them in church on Sunday. They are also the reason we still are free to worship where we want in this country. Not every country can make that claim.
Thank you veterans for your service. Despite what some people may think, you are important.