The Day After Veterans DayNov 11, 2022
Yesterday, November 11, 2019, was Veterans Day. As usual, social media was flooded with posts from friends, family, acquaintances and groups thanking our vets for their sacrifice and service. There were many comments about heroes, bravery, and most frequently…freedom. It was interesting to me that even those who have supported topics outside the principles of freedom, are grateful for the freedom that they enjoy from the sacrifice and actions of others. Similarly, our city’s ceremony featured a phenomenal speaker, a true warrior and hero, who inspired us all to dig deeper and fight harder than we think we can. The question is, what about today? What happens the day after Veterans Day?
As Ann Marie Carrizales, a USMC veteran and Texas police officer told us her incredible story as the keynote speaker of our city’s ceremony, there were astonished faces, whispers of “wows” and shaking of heads at her bravery and warrior qualities, lifting everyone’s perspective of what each is capable.
After serving as a USMC Military Police and a boxer, she joined the Texas police force. On a traffic stop, alone, she encountered 3 gang members fresh from an armed personal robbery spree. One of the thieves pulled a gun and shot her in the face and chest. The bullet tore through her left cheek and out her upper jaw, leaving a gaping hole in her face. The other bullet was barely stopped by her vest. The gang members drove off, and after immediately engaging a complete self-check, training she had received in both the military and her boxing career, Ann deduced she was still in working condition and committed herself to finishing the job. After a 10 minute car pursuit and help from her colleagues, the gang members were apprehended.
The room was astonished. As Ann said, the questions the nation immediately asked after her dash cam video went viral was, “Who is this woman and what would make her keep going?” Her day had begun as a regular day, not a war day, not a riot day, a regular day like today, the day after Veterans Day.
What happens the day after Veterans Day? Does the inspiration, the celebration of heroes, bravery and sacrifice for the freedoms we enjoy disappear? We all return to work, our everyday lives, our everyday actions, and forget that for a moment we were reminded of our duty to serve and our responsibility to learn, discuss and act for freedom. Media won’t remind, work often doesn’t inspire, but for a moment our beliefs about how much we are capable of were lifted and the bar was raised. Freedom is an everyday battle. The Founders knew that. It takes attention, self-education, a warrior spirit and most importantly ACTION!
So what will you do the day after Veterans Day? What will you do everyday to preserve and regain our freedoms? What will you do today to continue the legacy that was gifted to us by our Founders and our veterans? What little thing can you do to learn a little more, dig a little deeper, and educate yourself and your family on the principles of freedom. For me, I need to read more, study harder, discuss more, contact my representatives more and show up more.
I saw amazing gratitude and honor for our veterans yesterday and this weekend. I know it is in our hearts and somewhere deep inside we have a voice telling us to raise the bar on ourselves and do more than complain to our neighbors and Uber drivers. Study hard, and use our Freedom Scholar community for inspiration and courage. See you on the battlefield.
A lot has happened and changed since 2019 when this was written. I am struck by the magnitude of the freedom gap that has developed in the last 3 years.
I am more hopeful than ever, however, about the future of freedom. There are more and more receiving and answering the call to act toward freedom. This is what we need. Communities of everyday heroes like Ann, like you and me, stepping into our unique missions and using our individual talents and gifts to serve the world. All of that adds to freedom. No action is too small.
Also in the last 3 years, we have more homeschoolers than ever before and growing by the day! This is HUGE! But it can't be just copycatting the system, we have to be involved, do what's ours to do, as leader Rachel DeMille says, and lead our kids by example. The impact of our actions will determine their impact on freedom.