Freedom Is Never Free

The very idea of freedom presupposes some objective moral law which overarches rulers and ruled alike. Subjectivism about values is eternally incompatible with democracy. We and our rulers are of one kind only so long as we are subject to one law. But if there is no Law of Nature, the ethos of any society is the creation of its rulers, educators and conditioners; and every creator stands above and outside his own creation. CS Lewis :



Tomorrow is the Fourth of July — a day that will always symbolize freedom for Americans.  For us, it's a festive occasion; however, for the signers of the Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776, was a solemn one.  The signers of this historic document were traitors in the eyes of the British, and they fully realized that failure to win the Revolutionary War would bring death by execution to not only them but to all freedom fighters because they had committed treason.


It's hard to imagine how many lost their lives during the Revolutionary War because there are few visual reminders of the tremendous human loss to secure America's freedom.  However, last week I witnessed first-hand the huge price that was paid for the world's freedom during World War II by visiting the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial. 


There are no words to describe the sea of crosses and Jewish stars I saw marking the graves of 9,387 American military dead.  On the walls of a semi-circular garden near the memorial are inscribed the names of an additional 1,557 Americans who lost their lives in the conflict but could not be located or identified.  


The cemetery is absolutely breathtaking because it is situated atop a cliff overlooking Omaha Beach, which served as one of the landings for American troops during the Normandy Invasion.  Most soldiers buried in the cemetery were killed during the invasion or during the military operations that followed.  It's notable that the graves face westward, toward the United States.


If you would like to take a virtual tour of the Normandy American Cemetery that spans 172 acres, here's the link.


June 6, 1944 (D-Day), is perhaps the most important date in modern history, for it was the pivotal moment when the the United States and its allies would change the course of World War II.  The world recently marked the 65th anniversary of the D-Day invasion at this famous cemetery.  For details check out the following web site:


The Normandy American Cemetery is featured in the beginning of Steven Spielberg's 1998 film Saving Private Ryan.  In this movie, a World War II veteran and his family visit the grave of Captain John Miller, played by Tom Hanks.  The movie's opening battle sequence is the D-Day landing at Omaha Beach.  It's important to note that John Miller is a fictional character, and the headstone with his name was brought to the cemetery for the movie.  However, Saving Private Ryan is based on the true story of the Niland brothers.  While there, I was privileged to visit the graves of two of these brothers who are buried in the cemetery.  What a huge sacrifice one family made for freedom! 


As I visited the American Cemetery in Normandy, I couldn't help but remember that it was the French who sacrificed together with the American Revolutionaries to gain independence for the United States.  Sixty-five years ago American soldiers helped secure France's freedom from the Nazis. 


My purpose for being in France was that I was chaperoning a singing group to which my daughter belongs — the Capital City Girls Choir (CCGC).  Here's an impromptu performance of an American Anthem that the choir sang at the memorial on the glorious day we visited:


After seeing the beaches of Normandy for myself, I have a newfound appreciation for the freedoms we so often take for granted.  Freedom is NEVER free!!!   Allied soldiers and their families paid the ultimate price for our collective freedoms.  MAY WE NEVER, NEVER FORGET!!!


My family will be celebrating the Fourth of July in Colonial Williamsburg where we will trace the footsteps of some of America's most beloved patriots who led a revolution and won — namely, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Patrick Henry, among others.  To God be the glory!


For your entertainment pleasure, here are a couple more songs by CCGC during their "Tour de France 2009":
Capital City Girls Choir – Ave Maria at Mont Saint-Michel

Capital City Girls Choir – Mr. Sandman in Caen at Eglise Reformee de France

Our bus driver Peter from the Netherlands recorded the video of Mr. Sandman, and as you will see he got a little carried away…  He and our tour guide Marianne, who hails from Amsterdam, were the BEST!!!  They made our trip a smashing success!

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