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The Hidden Holiday

The Hidden Holiday
By Whitney White

“Hey, Mama, what does LGBTQ spell? It doesn’t have any vowels.”

My second grader’s straightforward question stunned me. I couldn’t fathom why he would ask me such a random question. It was perfectly quiet and peaceful in our home that day. My toddler was sleeping while my older boys were supposed to be working on their school work as I prepared lunch. The tv was off along with all other devices. In confusion, I walked to him and asked him where he had heard or seen “LGBTQ.”

“Right there!” he said pointing to the desktop computer beside him. The screensaver displayed a gorgeous scene with rolling green hills, a deep blue sky, and a remarkable rainbow. Once I looked closer, I saw the subtle white font that explained that October is LGBTQ History Month for those who pioneered for the rights and freedoms celebrated today.

I was floored.

Especially since this was the second time my screensaver had slipped an unwanted message into our home. The screensaver on our family computer is set to display amazing images in nature. Normally, the tiny font tells the location and an interesting fact to go along with it. However, when my husband stopped to admire the picture of God’s creation this past June, he realized the font was informing us that June is Pride Month and we are to recognize the impact the gay, lesbian, transgender, and bisexual individuals have had on this world. He immediately reported it and received a message that it wouldn’t happen again. Yet, just a few months later they continue to force their agenda and ignored our requests.

Now I must say, in no way does my family feel hatred toward any individual in this LGBTQ group. For if we did, that would be contrary to the very character of Jesus Christ, who commands us to love everyone unconditionally with no exception (“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another” John 13:34). However, as a Bible-believing, God-honoring family we do not want these agendas and messages pushed upon us every time we turn around without our permission any more than the LGBTQ wants Christians to force Bible verses upon them. We would like to read our screensavers, eat our cereal, read magazines, and watch family movies, tv shows, and commercials without having to think of sexuality and all the issues surrounding it.

I just can’t help but wonder what the screensaver will be today or for the rest of this month. Will it be a field covered in red poppies to symbolize Veterans Day? Will it show a magnificent view of Mount Suribachi where the iconic photo of the flag-raising on Iwo Jima took place? Or perhaps it will reveal a heart-stirring image of Arlington that will cause us to pause and ponder the true trailblazers who fought for the rights and freedoms of every single American, not just a select few.

Sadly, November 11 has become a hidden holiday in our country. Although there are school programs and parades, Veterans Day tends to take a back seat to our other holidays…especially our more recent ones that do more to divide than unify. It’s shameful to see entire cities lit up with colors of “pride” for two whole months out of the year, but for the single day we celebrate the men and women who have and are still faithfully serving our country and defending our freedoms, it simply appears to be another normal day.

Our soldiers don’t just fight for whites or blacks, Democrats or Republicans, wealthy or poor, homosexual or straight. They fight for all Americans.

These outstanding men and women who choose to serve don’t fly their own flag and draw attention to themselves. Instead, they conduct themselves with the highest character, humbly respect those they protect, and dedicate themselves to strengthening and safeguarding our one nation under God. These are the individuals we need to recognize for the profound impact they have had on the world. Whether they served stateside, overseas, or sacrificed their lives, each one understood the price for freedom and was willing to pay that price if need be.

This month and every month we should honor and remember the individuals who were tortured and held as prisoners of war, stormed beaches, participated in dangerous missions, kept peace on American soil, and battled the enemy on the frontlines or behind the scenes so that we can live in the greatest country on earth.

Our culture is fighting to indoctrinate our children. As parents, we must disciple our children according to God’s Word and deliberately educate them on our history and who our true pioneers and heroes are. Patriotism will not be taught in the schools; it must be modeled at home. Regardless of whether my silly screensaver honors our veterans, my family will choose to salute and celebrate them in every way this day and every day throughout the year.

Here’s a quick lesson on the founding of Veterans Day:

In the 11th month, the 11th day, at the 11th hour, of 1918 a temporary peace, or armistice, was signed and the fighting during World War I finally came to an end. President Woodrow Wilson announced a year later that this day would officially be called Armistice Day in the United States. During this proclamation, he stated, “To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory.”

In 1938, it became a national federal holiday dedicated to world peace. It was a special day to honor the veterans of WWI. However, in 1954 President Dwight D. Eisenhower changed the name to Veterans Day in an effort to honor the veterans from WWII and the Korean War. Today, Veterans Day commemorates the service of all American veterans.

Here are several activities to do with children to teach them to love, appreciate, and respect our veterans:

– Write thank-you letters to veterans. There are websites, such as Operation Gratitude and A Million Thanks, which make it easy for children to send letters and care packages to wounded warriors and veterans as well as deployed troops.

– Attend a veteran’s program or parade

– Visit a veteran in the hospital, nursing home, or at home to tell them ‘thank you’ and that you are proud of them

– Visit a cemetery and count how many different wars and branches of the military are represented

– Contact your local VFW and volunteer to decorate a cemetery nearby with flags. They will provide flags for you.

– Read stories of real American heroes

– Take every opportunity to speak with veterans and listen to their stories if they are willing to share

– Watch historical documentaries of American wars, battles, and individual stories of heroism

– Teach your children to recognize men wearing veteran hats or military uniforms and tell them “thank you for your service” wherever you are throughout the year

– Most importantly, teach your children to pray for our country, its leaders, our military and their families. It is imperative we teach our children to thank God for our freedom and appreciate our veterans.

May we never take this gift of freedom for granted.

“Veterans know better than anyone else the price of freedom, for they’ve suffered the scars of war. We can offer them no better tribute than to protect what they have won for us.” – President Ronald Reagan

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