Serious Thoughts for Veteran's Day ... by Cindy Beck

A Tribute to Freedom: "As Long as My Heart Beats"

Despite the fact that I usually write humor, certain circumstances require deeper thoughts. Veteran’s Day is one of those occasions.

My dad served in the Air Force as a career military man, and he’s now retired. I have been, and always will be, proud of him and the way in which he served his country, and his willingness to go to war to defend our liberties.

It’s to him, and to all valiant veterans, that I dedicate the following thoughts on freedom.

As Long as My Heart Beats
© 2009 Cindy Beck

What can be written about freedom that hasn’t already been penned? The words of our American forefathers—far more articulate and expressive than anything I could ever compose—declare our right to freedom in the Declaration of Independence. “We hold these truths to be self-evident, 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.”1

All I can give then, are my simple thoughts ….

Freedom is what gives me the right to walk the hills at daybreak, watching the pink and gold clouds caress the mountaintops, with no worry that someone will demand a passport, papers, or even ask why I choose wandering instead of working at a government stipulated job.

The meadowlark’s tune in the canyon sings to me of those who came before—men and women of bravery and courage, who loved liberty more than life and willingly gave their all, making the supreme sacrifice so that I might listen, in peace and free from bondage, to that lark’s lilting song.

A stone’s throw away lies a brook that ripples and laughs on its way to the mighty sea. It speaks to me of freedom to worship a Heavenly Father, to gather with other believers on a bright Sabbath morn and express our love of God in songs, that like the babblings of the brook, rise to the heavens—a right granted with no restrictions by a government that would curtail beliefs in the Holy One of Israel.

And yet, that brook also gurgles of the rights of others to not worship any supreme being at all. Freedom has not always been, but ever should be, universal. All mankind, not just Americans, have been “endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights.” And I, like the stream, must be willing to allow—no, not just to allow but to encourage—freedom to flow to others, even when their beliefs are different than mine.

The dark-eyed doe that browses on the tender grass reminds me of the right to bear arms, not only as a means to obtain food, but as a protection against an unrighteous government—perhaps foreign, perhaps not—that would choose to rob me of the precious freedoms that I hold dear.

The fawn that suckles near her side causes my heart to swell with gratitude for the liberty to not only choose to procreate but also to decide the number of little feet that might pitter-patter through my life. Freedom insures that the dark-haired, Down syndrome daughter holds as much worth as the blond-haired, highly intelligent son, and that no parent has to choose the life of one over the other.

It is freedom that allows me to attempt to convey in my own simple words the eloquent truths that Thomas Jefferson expressed so well. And as long as my heart beats and forever after, it is my hope that freedom will reign in this great country.


This article sponsored by YourLDSNeighborhood.com. Please show your appreciation by returning to and browsing through the Neighborhood!


CONTEST WINNERS: Nichole Giles, you're the winner of the Progresso soup mugs and spoons! Please contact me no later than midnight on Wednesday, Nov 11 to claim your prize. Send me an email with your mailing address at cindybeck(dot)author(at)yahoo(dot)com.

If the prize isn't claimed by Wednesday, a new winner will be drawn.

THIS WEEK'S GIVEAWAY: A really cool, “Get Healthy” prize pack that includes a stylish sports bag, sports towel, ear buds and two free coupons* for any flavor of the new YoPlus Light yogurt.
*Please note: Free coupons are not valid in Louisiana, Nevada and North Dakota.

THE PRODUCT: Yoplait was kind enough to send me a gift pack that included a coupon for their new YoPlus Light Yogurt. They had the following to say about their new product:

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With only 70 calories, YoPlus Light contains a special blend of probiotic cultures, 3 grams of natural dietary fiber and the same great taste you expect from Yoplait. Even better, YoPlus Light is now available in three new delicious flavors – Key Lime Pie, Honey Vanilla and Strawberry Banana – and is already available in supermarkets nationwide.

MY OPINION: I tried the Strawberry Banana and found it to be really tasty, with chunks of strawberry through out and a creamy texture that almost (almost) reminded me of ice cream. I'd love to try the Key Lime Pie and think that's what I'll use my second free coupon on.

Over the weekend, I picked up a stomach bug and nothing settled well. Last night, when my stomach was churning, I ate a cup of YoPlus yogurt. I'm not giving a medical endorsement here, nor claiming you'll have the same results, but I can tell you it was one of the few things that I could eat without discomfort.

Also, when my husband, Russ, saw the sports bag in my complimentary gift pack from Yoplait, he liked it so much he wanted to claim it as his own. Methinks I need to start hiding my gift packs.

HOT TIP: You can now download a $1.00 off coupon for YoPlus Light here.

HOW TO ENTER: Leave a comment on this blog entry telling what you do for digestive health (or any other comment you'd like). Contest ends Friday, Nov 13, 2009 at midnight.

*Winners will be announced no later than Monday, Nov 16, and will have until midnight on Wednesday, Nov. 18, to contact me at cindybeck(dot)author(at)yahoo(dot)com, or ... sorry ... another winner will be chosen.*

This giveaway sponsored by Yoplait and MyBlogSparkTM

COMING NEXT WEEK: Win a sampler bottle of Twilight-inspired custom scents! You won't want to miss out on this contest. Starts Nov. 16, here at my blog!

Please note that my family members are encouraged, enticed, and eligible to comment on my thoughts, but unfortunately, are ineligible to enter the contests.


ali said...

What a beautiful essay Cindy.

Thank you to your dad for serving so long and faithfully.

Danyelle Ferguson said...

Digestive health? Am I supposed to do something to help it? I just figured it all worked. =) I'm always happy to get new gym bags though. After a while, the old ones get smelly and need tossed.

Carol L. said...

I love your post on freedom. :) My dad was a WWll Army vet and both my sons are lifelong Army.In Special Forces. It is with much pride (and fear) I'm afraid, that I look upon them.
As for my digestive problems, I try not to think of my sons in Special Forces. :)
Carol L.

Slamdunk said...

Wonderful post Cindy in reminding us what freedom means--thanks.

Sharon said...

Dear Cindy,
I've always been so proud of ALL your accomplishments, my sister-in-law... but this piece of writing is superb!! I give you an A+...:):)

Dave Beck said...

That was very nice! I'm very thankful for those things too. Thank you.

Taffy said...

Thanks for the reminder of the Veteran's Day. My dad flew helicopters during the Vietnam war. Only he flew them in Thailand.
I take ginger capsules now and then for digestive. Well, mostly for motion sickness so I can ride the scary roller coasters!

Rachelle said...

I eat my homemade wheat bread. :)
Sounds like a cool prize and I loved your freedom thoughts.

Oz Girl said...

Cindy, you're such a talented writer. I'm envious of how well you can pen your emotions, and convey to us with your writing. Beautifully said.

As far as my digestive health, I think I've been very blessed with few if any issues. So I don't do anything in particular (yet) to keep it healthy.

Daron D. Fraley said...

Great post. Great essay.

Jenn Wilks said...

Thank you for your thoughts on freedom and veterans day. I have a few military brothers and I'm so grateful to them and all of our troops - past, present, and future.

My MIL swears by probiotics - PB8, in particular, to chase away the stomach flu. I never have found it effective for myself and my family, though, until I found acidophilus pearls. The stomach flu went around our family a couple months ago, and as soon as I tried those, everyone who started to get sick would take one and get better right away. So I keep 'em handy now. :-D

Mary said...

I enjoyed your essay. We all need to remember and be thankful for the freedoms that we have. Thanks for reminding us. Don't enter me in this contest. I have too much stuff in my house.

Valerie Ipson said...

Aak! Am I supposed to be doing something for my digestive health?

I didn't know! I still could use a cool new bag, though, and a chance to try the yogurt!

basicliving@backtobasicliving.com said...

That was a wonderful tribute to Veterans and Veterans Day. Very beautifully written.

Bernie said...

I wrote a post about veteran's day too but mine can't hold a candle to yours. I loved the way you spoke about the freedoms we enjoy here and how thankful we should be and I believe you covered them all. A wonderful treatise on what being an American and what veterans have won for us in the past.