Yesterday morning, long before the sun came up, I lay in my warm bed listening to sound of ringing bells clanging up and down the streets. Our community is one of the last in Colorado who still commemorate the historic ringing of bells around the world at the end of all world wars. The bells on Veterans Day also serve as a reminder of the dedication and sacrifice of countless Veterans who served to guarantee my freedom.

Today, I’d like to also publicly thank those who have gone before and paved the way for me to have life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

In American history, the first to thank would be the adventurers and explorers who set out to sail across the uncharted oceans not knowing what they would find. Followed later by the ships of religious pilgrims seeking the freedom to worship according to their conscience no matter the personal sacrifice or hardship to establish a new home in a foreign land. And I can’t forget the patriots who took a stand against an unjust foreign dictatorship and dreamed up a new form of government.

Down through the years, our nation has been continually shaped by the leadership of others who weren’t afraid to stand up for what was right and point to a better future. Abraham Lincoln led the nation through the Civil War and the abolishing of slavery even though it cost his life. Then Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. continued that fight with his dream of equal rights.

I can’t forget those whose creativity and imaginations and ambition invented everything from light bulbs to steam engines to automobiles to rockets. Those who labored to build a cross-continental railroad. Those who rode in the Pony Express to deliver messages to loved ones long before the telegraph and postal service simplified communication long before telephones.

Then I personally can’t forget Gutenberg whose printing press revolutionized the spread of the Christian faith by printing the Bible…but whose invention led to literacy and books. Fabulous books like those I’m now privileged to get to write.

On a personal note, there are other unsung heroes who have gone before to make my life what it is today. For example, my parents were not the first in their families to serve the Lord and build families but they have carried on the legacy well and challenged me by example as I raise my own children. 

There is also DiAnn Mills, a Christian romance author who took time at a writer’s conference to encourage my writing and then point me to American Christian Fiction Writers where I continue to glean industry information and writing craft skills. An organization that introduced me to many of my writer friends and who sponsored a contest that led to my first publishing contract. 

Which leads me to Sandie Bricker who not only wrote fun and fabulous stories of her own, but her dream helped establish the Bling! Romance imprint. She acquired my first two manuscripts and modeled the qualities of an editor that I now hope to demonstrate. While Sandie has gone on to Glory, I still can hear her voice encouraging me as I pursue new stories to write.

Obviously, this list is not comprehensive and merely scratches the surface of those dedicated individuals in the past who sacrificed to make their dreams a reality. Dreams that have years later allowed my dreams the opportunity to grow.

So, today, in honor of Veterans’ Day, I’m letting this post stand as a ringing bell to honor those who have gone before.

What about you? Who would you thank? Paul Revere for saddling his horse and taking a midnight ride? Lewis and Clark for getting in a canoe to chart a path across a vast country? NASA for collectively finding a way to reach for the stars…or at least the moon and thereby expand the borders of what we find possible?


Dedicated To Those Who Have Gone Before
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