On Veteran’s Day in the wake of a close election, in a divided country, I am grateful for my freedoms. As we realize that our friends, coworkers, fellow service men, and family, even our parents, spouses and children believe differently than we do; even vehemently different, rejoice in that freedom. Because our beliefs, no matter what the topic, we do not have to be retrained. Celebrate that right. Value the ability to share differing opinions openly without reserve and without fear of retribution.
California had 17 propositions on the ballot, from an educational state bond, to legalizing marijuana and taxing cigarettes. We had two plastic bag propositions, three propositions on incarceration and the death penalty, and one to limit guns and ammo. While the debates over what passed in the propositions still hotly continue, thank you to those who serve so we have that right.
I am pleased that my children feel safe enough to argue their differing views, whether or not we should be kinder or more gentle with our words. It matters less that we perhaps should choose our words more carefully than our ability to feel heard and validated by those with like views. It does us good to be challenged about what we think by those with opposing views.
It is a privilege paid for in blood. The blood of good men and woman who believe in that freedom. Morals aside, it is our constitutional right to have and speak our views freely. The ability to argue tooth and nail for our beliefs, is a gift.
On this Veteran’s Day, I thank all of my fellow service men, who serve today, in the past and those who will in the future. You make America great, by allowing all Americans to be themselves.
God Bless America.
By Vicki L. Pugliese, U.S.N
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