Celebrating and commemorating our veterans. United States military veterans and their families.

Traditions Worth Keeping – Gig Line #188

GIG LINE

By Marsha M. Brown

MERRY CHRISTMAS! The time is near to officially celebrate the most remarkable day in history when a miraculous conception and a humble setting embraced a birth of unequaled greatness…a birth that changed the world forever.

Leading to that special day, we should reflect on what Christmas means to us individually; how we learned about it; how we’ve celebrated it; how it has touched us personally and how it can change or affect ‘good’ in the future.

Though the robust greeting “Merry Christmas” has been downplayed and diminished by those who prefer “Happy Holidays” the event that earmarks that remarkable day will remain the same throughout time…no matter what. Rather than simply setting a good example, teaching good manners to our children and expecting respect in return from our fellow man we are cataloging bad manners and inexcusable behavior for ‘political correctness’.  Simply exercising kindness and acceptance of others who look, think and worship differently than we do…would be a simple fix rather than having succumbed to ‘pc’ until it is beyond sickening.

We have unfortunately become a nation of wimps so much so that we can’t even keep the simplest of verbal traditions – simple? traditional? And in tact for fear we might ‘offend’ someone. What happened to the old saying…”We’ll just agree to disagree!” or even “Like it or lump it?” In the check out lines I’ve noticed cashiers looking over their shoulder to see if the coast is clear before they dare utter two simple words…”Merry Christmas.” What a shame. Let me tell you how I r-e-a-l-l-y feel about this.

First of all…I understand the basis of ‘political correctness’ but while the concept is reasonable – the term itself (in my opinion) has gone to the extreme and is now offensive in and of itself. All my life I have stood by people who were ridiculed…made fun of or discriminated against. I accept that even you who are reading GIG LINE (as I speak) might disagree with some or even a lot of what I have to say and you know what? That’s O.K. But I am still of the belief that we can get along…agree to disagree about things but maintain that you have that right…to think, feel and act on your beliefs without intimidation or hardship bestowed on you as a result. We can still listen to each other and   move forward finding other common ground that we can agree on. That being said, what really puzzles me is how we have given in to coercion, pressure, fear and even the very thing we supposedly stand so much against now…bullying.

We are blessed (no matter our outer appearance) to have life, to know the comfort of a loved one’s embrace, to know that our words (and even more so our deeds) demonstrate our thankfulness for the opportunity to affect people in a positive way; to lift someone up, to aid in their suffering, to offer friendship and love and respect.

When I hear the testimony of a little girl who was punished for refusing to denounce our Lord and her belief in Him while in an elementary school classroom and I hear that our American flag cannot be flown on public property it makes me realize more than ever that we are on seriously shaky ground…we are wobbling as if drunken with the attitude that its easier to give in and drown than to fight the current and swim.

Bullying? It’s rude and obnoxious no matter who does it or for what reason…because there is never a good enough reason under any circumstance. Bigots and haters, who successfully threaten, coerce or terrorize until they get their way win. No one should be timid or afraid to say they are a Christian; or that they believe in God for fear of potential job loss. Challenges to established Christian symbols of faith and American patriotism are destabilizing our foundation and the shaky ground is becoming an earthquake.

At this Christmas time I wish you and everyone you love comfort; I pray that you will decide that ‘enough is enough’ and that there is more to faith than fairy tale; I pray that you will feel the precious and absolute love of the Father whom I know personally (perhaps you do too) and that the aches in your body, heart and soul will be healed or feel renewed; that when you see little children who have faced surgery after surgery and who still smile their inspiration will make you less eager to complain, find fault and criticize others less fortunate; I pray that we stand more than ever for our United States flag, for our Pledge of Allegiance and for our country more proudly than ever, upright and resilient to those who want to tear our symbols to shreds and throw them in the trash.

I pray for all of us to be more offended but for the right reasons…for a change.

I thank my Lord for giving me my most precious ‘sweetie pie’ Billy and a love that every women should know in her life time; for our beautiful children and grandchildren; for the inspiration, ability and opportunity to reach out to all of you, especially our veterans, through GIG LINE; for the commitment of our service men and women and for all they sacrifice for us; for the lawmakers and sincere politicians who truly stand for America and her people; I pray and thank God for the blessings I have seen firsthand in my life and for those who have crossed my path, touched me, taught me, encouraged me and forgiven me if I have done anything to hurt them unintentionally.

I believe in ‘Merry Christmas’. I believe in how it came to be and in the goodness of saintly people like Mother Teresa and the dedicated missionaries across the world who have nourished the sick, fed the poor and comforted the lonely; I pray for beautiful memories and recollections of times past for those who have lost a loved one and I pray that we all strive to do as my friend Gary Felder (U.S. Marine Corps veteran) says often, to “Pick up the flag and carry it”.

Our active duty military and all who are deployed need to know that the difficulties and hardships they face matters…to all of us. And our veterans who still feel the effects of war, both in body and spirit God bless and be with you. Thank you for what you have been through for us. We are a nation of good people who generally want the best for each other and those whom we truly owe our gratitude to. Know that you are in our minds and hearts this December and that we wish you and those you love a very ’Merry Christmas’. You…our heroes…will forever be.

The most wonderful man in this whole big world, Billy, and I thank you all. We pray for your good health, safety and happiness from the bottom of our heart. And if you are a veteran please embrace your own goodness, talents and skills. You are strong men and women who have beat the odds, gotten through the worst of times and who are here to exemplify that pressing on and pressing forward can bring you back home. You bless us all each day…be proud of what and who you are…because we sure are proud of you.

Until next time, be happy, be safe and love not only the loveable but the unlovable too…but most especially…love yourself. O.K.? You know the drill…stay tuned.

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Marsha M. Brown has been writing a weekly Gig Line since 2012.  Marsha is the widow of Vietnam War, U.S. Army, veteran Billy Brown of Manteo, NC.  She was instrumental in establishing the Dare County Veterans Advisory Council and maintains an active role in the veteran community. You can reach Marsha with questions or suggestions at [email protected].  Have a story to tell or a veteran to feature? She would love to hear from you!

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