To Die For...
“If a man hasn't discovered something that he will die for, he isn't fit to live.”
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., June 23, 1963
Imagine this, ou’re on vacation in the United Arab Emirates and decide to explore the tallest building in the world, the Burj Dubai in Dubai. You and two other people who you’ve never met get on the elevator to go up over 100 floors to the top. About one minute into your 5 minute journey upward; one of the passengers pulls out a gun, points it at you and the other passenger and simply says, “I’m going to kill one of you, which one of you will it be.”
What do you do? Do you give your life for a complete stranger that you never met. Would you be willing to make the ultimate sacrifice for another human being without any relationship, knowing of their family, history, or story? If you say no, I don’t blame you. I can’t say that I would make that decision myself. However, I know someone who would. Someone who wouldn’t think twice about the choice because for them it’s about something far greater than themselves…the men and women of the United States Military.
Today, Thursday November 11, 2021 is Veterans Day. It is a day to honor the people who serve and have served that allow us to live in the greatest country the world has ever known to date. These soldiers put their lives at risk for people that they have never met and may never know in their lifetimes, twenty four hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. Can you even begin to fathom the gift that they give you and I to live our lives in a free country with unlimited opportunity? Unfortunately for most Americans, this is not only unappreciated, it is both expected and even worse a feeling of entitlement. We have grown so numb to the prosperity that our country offers us, we have no idea how fortunate we are. For those who don’t know what I’m talking about, how about a wake-up call. Here’s what the rest of the planet knows as normal compared to the US of A.
The gross domestic product (GDP) of the U.S. is larger than the next two and a half biggest economies combined (China, Japan & Germany).
In 2020 the per capita income (CPI) of the U.S. was 350 percent higher than the world's average CPI.
56% of the world's population lives on an income of less than $730 per year or $2 per day.
Half of the world’s poor who comprise 28% of the world's population live on $1 or less per day.
The average American earns from 46 to 92 times more than over half the world's population.
Though far from perfect, the United States of America is undeniably the richest and most powerful nation the world has witnessed to date. Americans simply live a lifestyle that is beyond imagination for most of the people in the world. Understand this…FREEDOM IS NOT FREE! It is paid for by blood and lives. It is protected by those willing to make a choice to die for their country if necessary so that WE can live in peace and prosperity.
Let’s go back to the elevator. Three strangers enter; gun pulled, the question's asked, “Who’s it going to be?” There’s you and a US Soldier…you live. Now do you understand? To my Grandfather Charles Banks Sr., my father Charles Penager, my father in law Steve Byriel and all other Veterans and soldiers of our armed forces, "Thank you". On behalf of all citizens that feel as I do, please accept our sincere thanks, gratitude and appreciation for loving us and all Americans enough…to serve. Thank you, thank you, and thank you again.