It has become somewhat of a tradition but one that I’m increasingly grateful for. For the last few years, Newt and Callista Gingrich have spent the holiday season advocating for what it means to be an American. They speak of freedom and perseverance and of the winter of 1777 when our nation was born out of the freezing tundra of Valley Forge. Many think of the Boston Tea Party or Philadelphia where the First Continental Congress convened. The Gingrich’s though remind us that it was the sacrifice of our veterans that carried us through to our nation’s wondrous beginning. Sadly, a recent survey by the Department of Education revealed that less than 1/3 of fourth graders can identify the purpose of the Declaration of Independence. Simply put, our youth can barely tell us the story of our country’s birth let alone realize just how great it is. If you haven’t seen Newt’s narrative, “Christmas Day 1777” you can watch it here. Sit down with your children and grandchildren and take a few minutes today to appreciate all our forefathers did to make us great and help instill the spirit that will live to protect it for generations to come.
8 Americans To Remember This Christmas
The Heritage Foundation ran a great article on the 8 Americans to remember this Christmas. While we all settle down to spend time with our families and reflect on the true meaning of the holiday season, it would do us some good to think of Saeed Abedini, the American pastor who is serving a prison sentence in Iran for practicing Christianity. We can remember Kenneth Bae who is in a North Korean prison for similar reasons. James Foley is an American journalist who disappeared in Syria and is believed to be held prisoner by the Syrian government. Alan Gross is being held in Cuba for "crimes against the Cuban state." Amir Hekmati, a former US Marine, was arrested for allegedly spying for the CIA in Iran. Robert Levinson, a former FBI agent, is currently the longest-held hostage in American history and is largely believed to be held by Iranian government officials. Austin Tice, a US Marine Corp reporter, is being held by Syrian officials. Our thoughts and prayers go to these folks who have continued to sacrifice for our freedom and their stories should serve as a constant reminder that we have a responsibility, not just a right, to do all we can to keep this country great! In a world where you can be persecuted for your beliefs, it's nice to know that America remains a "shining beacon of freedom" for the world.