We in the real estate business always tout the greatness, benefits and features of the most exclusive communities and housing developments. However, with our hectic schedules and numerous obligations, we seldom cast more than a glance at what makes the United States so great and the true blessing it is to live (and do business) here.
Though none of us were around, most of us know the events that transpired in this country in 1865. It was on May 1st of said year when a Charleston newspaper reported the celebration of the first Memorial Day, then called Decoration Day. A year later, it was officially observed in Waterloo, New York. Due to some lingering hostility from the Civil War, the holiday was renamed Memorial Day in 1888. The holiday exploded in popularity after WWII and the name was declared official in 1967. A year later, as part of the Uniform Holidays Bill, Memorial Day was moved to the last Monday in May to generate a convenient, 3 day weekend. Though the holiday has quickly gained in popularity, sometimes we have to be steered back to its actual meaning.
The United States was founded on the idea of freedom. Almost a hundred years before the Civil War, the United States was declared independent from Great Britain. Many people risked their lives to find a land free from religious persecution. Today, over 300 years later, many brave men and women have given their all, including their life to preserve this idea. I recently had the opportunity to listen to some international speakers and pastors. I was floored when I was told that Christians in Africa and Asia were brutally killed everday for their beliefs. It's even a blessing to be in the real estate business here. There are many parts of the world where governments make it virtually impossible for anyone to own or have any kind of rights to land.
Perhaps growing up in a military family or simply being a proud family member and friend of others who are currently on active duty has made me a little more sensitive to these things. I constantly thank veterans for their service when I encounter them at work or out grocery shopping. Regardless of your ideas or opinions on U.S. wars, the fact is that American men and women fight daily to preserve this country and our freedom. Even the latest military operations in Iraq have claimed over 5,000 U.S. lives.
So tomorrow as we fire up the BBQ pit, head to the lake, camp in the desert or just relax at home, I encourage you to take a brief moment to reflect upon how blessed we are. And the next time we are working with a veteran, I pray that the words "thank you" precede any mention of a VA loan.
Friends, I hope you have a safe and enjoyable Memorial Day weekend.
Arlington National Cemetery - http://scandinavianinsight.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/800px-memorial_day_at_arlington_national_cemetery.jpg
Arlington National Cemetery - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Fort_logan_national_cemetery_5.jpg
James Johnson, Realtor
Austin Texas Homes, LLC
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