The Twin Towers
What has happened to us? The United States has been a beacon of hope for over 200 years. It’s the only place where the twins of Freedom and Sacrifice co-exist. These fraternal twins were borne out of oppression and sustained by the rights and privileges that Sacrifice fought for, allowing both to stand side by side and demonstrate empathy towards each other and the rest of the world.
But today Freedom is acting as if he’s an only child, entitled to everything. The arrogance he displays toward others, the disrespect he has for hallowed ground and institutions, the callousness in how he judges Sacrifice, always expecting perfection, demanding his own way, all while judging the imperfections that Sacrifice possesses are evidence of his self interest.
It seems Freedom has completely forgotten about his twin Sacrifice. Admittedly, Sacrifice is a little rough around the edges, not really the type of personality you want at a cocktail party or a football game where Freedom takes center stage. But when the chips are down and Freedom is backed into a corner, there is only one person he knows will be there and can rely on…his brother Sacrifice.
Surprisingly, Sacrifice doesn’t hesitate to stand in the gap when Freedom calls because he knows instinctively the profound circumstances that are on the line, even when Freedom forgets so easily and is so far removed from Sacrifice that he doesn’t even know the danger of being alone. Sacrifice ignores this insolence because he knows that nothing trumps the importance of protecting Freedom when he’s in trouble, even when it’s caused by his own arrogance and amnesia.
Freedom feels no remorse in fabricating lies about leaders or printing stories that incite riots and cause harm to innocent bystanders. Freedom scoffs at laws that protect civility and mutual respect for thought and discourse that isn’t to his liking. Freedom kicks dirt in Sacrifice’s face just to prove a point. Freedom thinks nothing of kneeling and turning his head away from Sacrifice on the world stage…and Freedom has no remorse to then proudly stand and honor the very enemy that Sacrifice paid a great price to defeat on Freedom’s behalf.
Will Sacrifice ever ignore Freedom’s call because of this? Will he ever not put on his boots and grab his equipment to put out the fire that Freedom ignites?
We can take comfort in knowing that Sacrifice will always answer the call because he knows that Freedom will falter alone. Freedom has soft hands, is afraid of the night, and he’s not willing charge the beach, crawl in the tunnels, or stand in the gap at all cost. Freedom wants to be tucked in and given the spoils without accountability.
Sacrifice has accepted the role of absorbing the pain, of being subjected to the ridicule and being unfairly judged while Freedom basks in the calm, warm sunshine. Because when Sacrifice heals, regains his strength, and learns to walk again from the injuries that are seen and unseen…he will once again stand with Freedom as twin towers of light in a very dark world.
Because that is what Sacrifice does. He carries the weight of all on his own shoulders, even when he knows that Freedom will forget and make another mistake. That Freedom will kneel when he should stand. That he will lie when he should tell the truth. That he will act with no thought when he should pause and contemplate a better way.
It wasn’t that long ago when Sacrifice heard a distressed call from Freedom. There was no hesitation by Sacrifice to save life after life even as the choking smoke filled his lungs. Sacrifice was also called to the skies of Pennsylvania and the grounds near the Pentagon, never once wavering in his commitment to protect Freedom.
It didn’t matter that in this instance Freedom was innocent and did not provoke. Sacrifice was there. Sacrifice is always there, paying an incredible price for his brother Freedom. It is this remembrance that causes me to stand tall, remove my hat, and cover my heart full of pride.
As we enjoy the privilege of security, peace, and football, I hope Freedom remembers the pain Sacrifice endured and doesn’t squander the privilege he provides.