To honor the fallen, let’s live in freedom’s light

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On green, sacred acres, there they sleep. White headstones stretch away into the distance, marching even here—especially here—in military precision. The winter snow falls down, lying atop each one. The sun and rains of summer and spring call forth the greening blanket. Flags and wreaths are lovingly placed, and on every stone, there’s a name…

In the runup to the first official holiday of summer, Memorial Day, I did something that was either wildly foolish or extraordinarily brave (the jury in this court is still out). I immersed myself in headlines.

On Tuesday of this week, here is what I found. Trans teens are holding the first-ever prom at the U.S. Capitol. The LA Dodgers have done a backflip worthy of Simone Biles and are re-inviting the formerly uninvited anti-Catholic trans nuns to a Pride Night celebration. Per the Daily Caller News Foundation, a California mother is heartbroken, grieving her daughter’s loss to a biological male in the 1600-meter race. Parents and students, she says, cannot speak up because it would be interpreted as bullying.

In corporate news, Target has debuted a line of “tuck-friendly swimwear.” Notably, one of their partners, a UK-based Satanic designer named Abprallen, believes that “Satan respects pronouns” and “Satan loves you.”

Then this, too. The NAACP has called for a travel ban in Florida, saying it is “openly hostile” towards people of color and the LGBTQ+ crowd. Aisha Mills, a black, lesbian Democrat strategist, has declared that Florida is nearly “a terrorist state,” though it should be noted that she wasn’t too terrified to spend spring break there with her own family.

Meanwhile, the satanists have been busy in the Sunshine State. One of their temples is collecting donations for an LGBTQ camp for kids. It’s all part of their Satanic Good Works campaign. If there is a larger oxymoron, I have yet to find it. Good lord. We are in trouble, and I haven’t even mentioned the crime in Chicago, the porous southern border, or reparations.

But back, now, to the upcoming holiday and those acres covered with graves.

Here in my midwestern home, I can see it. Family and friends of the fallen, searching for that one precious stone. Finding it, they pause before its face, tracing each letter engraved, whispering to God the sweet name.

Here in my home, I can feel it. Can feel the weight, and the loss, and the holy hush that pervades those green acres. Blood has been shed, so much blood. Who can calculate such an incalculable cost? Who can repay such a debt?

My mind goes back to the headlines. Surely, surely they did not die for this, these numberless sons and daughters of other mothers who perished in freedom’s defense.

The America I see in the headlines is not so free anymore. Our constitutional rights, enshrined in a sacred document, are under assault. Every day it becomes more dangerous to say so, and yet we must say it and say it and say it again.

Freedom is always worth defending. It is worth our strongest pursuit. Because true freedom’s source is in the Almighty, its enemies are mortal and fierce. We must be fiercer and braver than they.

It is important, here, to distinguish between freedom and licentiousness. Merriam-Webster defines freedom as “the quality or state of being free, such as the absence of necessity, coercion, or restraint in choice and action; liberation from slavery or restraint from the power of another.” This is what’s worth dying for.

Licentiousness, conversely, is “lacking legal or moral restraints; dissolute indulgence in sensual pleasure.” Those who live from their baser appetites are not free. They are enslaved, bound by lesser things, ruled by smaller gods, and those around them will suffer.

Truth and love are the pillars strong, comprising freedom’s base. Those who live by the law of love need no other decrees. Their choices are governed by a Love that’s divine, and those around them are blessed. Such people are truly free.

No lie, no matter how sugared or gilded or popular it is, can ever free the soul. It can only and ever bring a snare. Truth is the key that unlocks prison doors and sets the captives free.

Truth, love, and freedom, a golden, three-stranded cord that can save those sinking in sand. May God give us courage, not only to fight and die for these three eternal things, but to live for them as well. This is how we can honor those who’ve lost their lives, whose names are engraved on white stones.

May God bless America with such grace.

Every Saturday morning, you can hear America’s small, caffeinated mom speak with Bo Snerdley about the essay of the week and any other topics of interest that arise. Bo appears on 77 WABC in NYC. To hear today’s segment, click HERE.


  1. Rhonda,

    A suggested reading along these lines,

    Rod Dreher: Live Not By Lies.

    Truth is truth, often imitated, bastardized and weaponized, but the real Truth is recognized on a deep, internal level. Those surrounding us are starving for it, and I believe it’s incumbent upon us to speak it, indeed to live it, at every opportunity!

    Thanks for your inspiration! God bless🙏🏼


    1. Truth and love, holding hands, can change hearts and minds. Experience has taught me this. What a blessing.

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