In Sudan, I learned of people - even children - tortured and murdered because they refuse to deny their faith in Jesus. In China, pregnant women are forced to abort their unborn children to comply with laws on family size.

In Central American countries, those who publicly disagree with governmental policies often "mysteriously" disappear - never to be seen again. The list of human rights violations and atrocities outside of the United States is extensive.

Yet, here I sit - in the wealthiest nation on the earth - free to attend the church of my choice, to own as many Bibles as I can afford, to choose my own husband (or choose not to marry), to vote for the leaders of my government and even write a letter to the editor of the newspaper when I disagree with the decisions they make. 

And why can I enjoy these freedoms?  Because the men and women in our armed forces understand that freedom has a cost. And since the birth of our nation, brave men and women have stepped forward, weighed the cost and chosen to lay down their lives in service to their fellow countrymen. 

Thank you just isn't enough. We need to pass these truths on to future generations - and Veterans Day is a great place to start.

"Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends." - John 15:13

From "Beyond Groundhogs and Gobblers: Putting Meaning into Your Holiday Celebrations" published by Christian Publications, Inc. (August, 2004). For more information about Cyndy, visit  www.realandsimple.com.