One doesn’t hold a committee meeting to discover valor or follow the advice of endearing commentators. Nor does one go to a Sunday service in hopes of walking away with more valor. One doesn’t wait for others to join the ranks of valor and give credence to the mission at hand. Valor is born from the joining of spirit and mind whenever danger lurks, and without any ranks in valorant fanfare, paves the way for our continued tomorrows.
And yet, while it is born when called forth by circumstances, It is also very much alive and dormant in one’s soul from birth.
We are hardwired for both care of self and care for the weak and the downtrodden. We are hardwired to reach within for our serenity and to reach out to the rejected and abused. We are destined to protect those who cannot protect themselves. We are predisposed to serve our nation’s security, armed not with weapons of mass destruction, but with plowshares of mass construction, guiding principles upon which this nation was founded – principles that guarantee each person certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.
While it is important to set aside a time to be grateful for all those valiant protectors of our liberties, especially those whose dead souls are sealed in valor, we need also set a time aside to ask if and when we are ready to respond when needed. It may not be to go to a far off land in a uniform, but we are definitely called to protect our liberties and freedoms on a daily basis. Our citizenship is not merely a task of self-aggrandizement and satisfaction. It is one of service to a good beyond our needs.
We are a people called to protect our liberties because we know as we protect those of others, we are protecting our very own.
Therefore, today we challenge ourselves to muster the strength of mind and spirit to encounter these dangerous times we live in with firmness – especially when the dangers are right before our very eyes – those spirits of ill health and despair, the spirits of loneliness and isolation, of drug abuse, disease, discrimination, disrespect, racism, sexism, homophobia, religious intolerance, religious bullying, injustice, greed, self-righteousness, shame, duplicity and false witness against those who threaten us by nothing but their existence.