Gratitude on Veterans Day

Published 8:19 pm Sunday, November 12, 2017

There’s a recent movie out called ‘Thank you for your service,’ that’s getting a little attention in the press. It’s about thanking veterans for their service to this country. And that’s something we do every year on Veterans’ Day and Memorial Day. But it took a speaker from China and reactions from my son, to help me see how every veteran, especially the Cold Warriors, gave life to my youngest child and gave me another reason to be thankful.

Those of us who lived during the Cold War know its importance. But some revisionists would have you believe that it was no big deal. They want you to think it was unnecessary.

The week of Veterans’ Day, I had a speaker come to LaGrange. Lily Tang Williams from the Victims of Communism Fund arrived to tell us her tale about being born in China, and being raised as a Young Pioneer during the bloody Cultural Revolution, where students turned in their professors, and each other, for being insufficiently hard-core communist. Eventually, Williams was able to come to the U. S. and stay, giving up her law professor position. She married an American and eventually became a U.S. Senate candidate for the Libertarian Party in 2016 in Colorado.

In addition to speaking to college students, she also gave a presentation to our Cub Scout Den. After telling the kids her story, we asked the scouts what freedoms they now do appreciate. One mentioned freedom of speech, while another chose the right to vote. My son stayed strangely quiet.

After we dropped Williams  off at her hotel, my son asked me “Is it true that China had a one-child policy?” I told our second-born that it was so, providing an academic discussion that focused on the rationale of limited resources and overpopulation, not getting it. He stared at me with wide eyes, in shock, and replied “But dad, if that happened here, you wouldn’t have had me.” It then hit me, harder than ever, what freedom truly means, and that means to have a family that you want, which is more important than we think about on a day-to-day basis. But my young son got it right off the bat.

So, on behalf of my son and myself, our family thanks you for supporting freedom, and opposing tyranny, in all forms.

John A. Tures is a professor of political science at LaGrange College in LaGrange, Ga.