Thank You, Papa John

Thank you Papa John for your daring vision and defiant signature.  (I’m not talking pizza here.)  Thank you Uncle George for risking life, limb and personal wealth, to better life for a motley crew of dissidents and malcontents.   If the rebellion against Mother England had failed, John Hancock and George Washington would have dropped a British noose around their necks by signing the Declaration of Independence on that auspicious July day in 1776.  Both men went on to become leaders of the new country– John Hancock, first official president of the Continental Congress, and George Washington, the first elected president of the United States of America.  If these men and their cohorts had cowered in fear, or stayed at home tending their treasures, where would our country be today?  Where would I be as one of their descendants?  (Yes, I know GW had no offspring, but his older brother did and that’s my connection.)

In this great tradition, two men are currently running for president.  Like Papa John and Uncle George, they too could choose to live an easier life, building their own financial legacy.  While neither candidate has the threat of a British noose stretching his neck, the dangers to his person and family members are just as real.  Remember JKF?

Why anyone would risk so much to govern a people, who for the most part, are more concerned with the fullness of their bellies and price of fuel for their gas tanks than the future of America, I don’t understand.  I wouldn’t put myself through such agony.  Regardless of my personal political preference, both President Barak Obama and former Governor Mitt Romney deserve my praise not my censure; my prayers not my sarcasm.

In addition, I must not forget the millions of everyday men and women who sacrificed everything for their country.   Their names aren’t inked on the Declaration of Independence or to the bottom of the Constitution, but are recorded in blood in  Saratoga, Gettysburg, Normandy, Seoul,  Gulf of Tonkin, and Bagdad.  They are the reason both of our presidential candidates deserve my prayers, regardless of political leanings.

Hebrews 12:1+ Message paraphrase says, ” “…All pioneers who blazed the way, all these veterans cheering us on?  It means we’d better get on with it.  Strip down, start running–and never quit… Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in… When you find yourself flagging in your faith, go over the story again, item by item…That will shoot adrenalin into your souls.”

My portrait will never grace the presidential walls of the White House.  My signature will never be defiantly scrolled on a document future school children will travel many miles to see.  My name will never become a talking point on a TV political show.  However, in this presidential election season, I need to take a look back at past generations, whose service and whose blood preserved right to raise my voice, to make my views known through my one small vote.  Considering all those heroes who’ve gone before, how can I keep silent?  Get out and vote!

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