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Why do we take freedoms for granted?

It doesn't take a national holiday like Veterans' Day for me to think about those who have served our country, those who have lost a limb, or those who gave the ultimate sacrifice that we, all Americans, might be free.

Freedom.

It is so taken for granted.

Do we ever really stop and think about the fact that we can wake up every single day and go about our own business, doing as we please, attending the church of our choice, deciding to move to another state if we so desire, or go to the grocery store and come out with armloads of food, all the while being able to return home to a house filled with all kinds of conveniences, computers, televisions, radios, expensive toys for both children and adults, not to mention having the family dog waiting for us when we arrive?

These are everyday, seemingly non-essential things that we do -oh, but they are essential. They make up our very lives, our very existence.

Why do we take it all for granted?

I have attended many Veterans' Day ceremonies where our war heroes are celebrated, and I never can come away with dry eyes.

What is it about the &#8220land of the free, and the home of the brave” that makes us swell with pride?

If it doesn't, then something is wrong; something is missing on the inside.

My father, Theo Grayson, served in World War II. My oldest brother, Van, served in Vietnam. They are both gone now; maybe that's why Veterans' Day and Memorial Day holidays strike such a chord within my heart.

In 1995, I wrote my father a long poem and told him all about how he was my hero. I told him that he might not have received a ticker-tape parade when he returned home from the war, but he had the undying devotion of his family, his &#8220troops” who loved him unconditionally.

I'm glad I told him all of these things while he was still alive. When he died in 2000, there were no regrets, no words left that should have been said earlier.

Whatever you do, don't wait until it's too late.

Show your love, your gratitude and your appreciation now. No one knows what tomorrow may bring.

May God bless each and every one of our veterans,

as well as those who are serving now, on this very special day and every day for what they have done for our country, for you, and for me.

Regina Grayson is managing editor of The Luverne Journal. She can be reached at 335-3541 or by email: regina.grayson@luvernejournal.com.