Gifts of hope, freedom

by Tom Cole

The month of December is marked by many holiday traditions celebrated by Americans across different backgrounds and faiths. During this Christmas and throughout this wonderful season, I am reflecting not only on the miracle and joy of the Savior’s birth thousands of years ago but on the blessed gifts of hope and freedom we share as Americans.

At this time of year, I am often reminded of the fight of a new nation to defend its independence and secure freedoms for its people nearly 250 years ago – a struggle that was ultimately won for the United States by God’s grace.

In fact, it was on Christmas of 1776 that General George Washington led the Continental Army to a critical victory in the Battle of Trenton that altered the course of the Revolutionary War and boosted American morale when it was needed most. This served as a critical reminder to our forefathers that independence was not an empty cause or out of reach.

Indeed, freedom is a God-given gift to every American and one that must never be taken for granted. It is a precious treasure that has inspired millions to volunteer for military service and risk their lives to defend liberty over the course of history.

Our service members and their families truly know the meaning of sacrifice, especially during the holidays while many are stationed abroad away from their loved ones. Every American should appreciate the gifts of peace and security bestowed on us all because of their willing and selfless service.

This holiday season, I am also thinking of the selfless gift of those serving on the front lines of any emergencies at home – including our dedicated first responders, healthcare heroes and law enforcement officers. And as we near two years since the COVID-19 pandemic began, I remain grateful for the numerous others who rose up to care for us all – including farmers, ranchers, truck drivers, grocery store workers and energy producers. 

As you celebrate this joyous holiday season, I hope you will join me in reflecting on these precious gifts.

May God continue to bless our great country – unsurpassed in freedom, opportunity and security for its citizens.