To the left, you see part of a Civil War battlefield at Gettysburg. You could hardly count the casualties. You see the field from the vantage point of the Union soldiers who defended this hill from the larger confederate army attempting to scale the hill. This was just one battle of many, but a large one, indeed.
The Civil War eventually led to the abolition of slavery in the U.S., although more work was to be done in the realm of societal issues relating to slavery and civil rights.
Still, it is a sobering thought: tens and tens of thousands of bodies lay in this field, American men who willingly sacrificed it all when called upon.
To the left, you see a very small section of Arlington Cemetery in D.C. Countless soldiers have been laid to rest here - more men who sacrificed much for the sake of freedom. As my family and I approached the site, we heard parts of a "21 gun salute" - a funeral going on near by. I couldn't help but feel indebted to those who had shed their blood (or exposed themselves to the risk thereof) for my sake.
As we visited the Iwo Jima Memorial, the following
sight (left) was a nice reminder that freedom is not free.
Three of the six marines commemorated in this picture died at Iwo Jima. They join those who have sacrificed much to maintain the freedoms we enjoy, including the freedom to fly (notice the plane flying high above beyond the memorial).
At one point during my visit to D.C. and the surrounding area, I was afforded the rare opportunity to be inside the chapel at Camp David where the Commander in Chief attends the Sunday Worship services when visiting. Inside, my wife played, "How Great Thou Art" on the piano as I sang the first verse. I prayed (and now pray) that our nation, beginning from the top and trickling right down to all of us, might turn to our Creator which we often acknowledge, and turn to our Redeemer in whom (as a nation) we rarely trust and that we would submit ourselves wholly to Him.
I'm thankful for the freedoms afforded me by this United States of America, but how much more I long that God would grant us revivals in which the Holy Spirit might quicken men and women to repent and trust in Christ. All this for the sake of God and of Christ, for God's honor and glory.
Believers, regardless of nation, race, and language have been granted by God salvation: a unique freedom from the penalty and power of sin, and a freedom to live in submissive obedience to the Creator and Redeemer of our Souls, Christ Jesus. His blood was of greater value than all other blood which has been shed upon the earth, and for the incarnation, atonement, resurrection, and salvation I am eternally grateful.