In light of Memorial Day, I want to take a moment and thank a special group for fighting for the freedoms of those with disabilities. Today, individuals with disabilities can look to the Americans with Disabilities Act that, “…prohibits discrimination and ensures equal opportunity for persons with disabilities in employment, State and local government services, public accommodations, commercial facilities, and transportation.”
This piece of legislation is one of the most important laws Americans with disabilities will ever have. While it might be tempting to give all the credit to the individuals who pushed for the law, those who lobbied and protested, there’s a group that we often forget to credit. Without them, Americans with disabilities wouldn’t have the freedoms or possibilities we have today.
Without our soldiers, children with Autism might not get to learn with their peers.
Without our soldiers, children with Down Syndrome might not get physical or occupational therapy.
Without our soldiers, people with Tourettes might legally be kicked out of classes, libraries, and restaurants.
Without our soldiers, we might not have Braille on our bathroom signs.
Without our soldiers, children with learning disabilities might not get appropriate time allotments to take tests.
Without our soldiers, individuals in wheelchairs might not have access to appropriate movie theater seats, parking spaces, or ramps.
Without our soldiers, Americans with disabilities might have no rights of their own.
You see, while we’re searching for ways to meet the needs of our little ones, while we search for cures for diseases and tools to support those who struggle with physical handicaps or mental health challenges, our soldiers stand silently ready. They stand ready to defend so we don’t have to. While doctors and scientists and teachers and parents work to protect our little ones with disabilities from discrimination, our soldiers work to protect us from harm.
So when we think of the rights the Americans with Disabilities Act gives us, we should take a moment and thank God for our soldiers. For without the peace they’ve given us, we wouldn’t have had the resources, time, or hope to press on.
To my friends, grandfathers, my brother, and my husband, and all those who have sacrificed their lives to protect our freedoms, I thank you for your service. You are gifts of God, and I couldn’t be prouder than to live in the land you’ve worked so hard to bless.
To my youngest brother, I know you aren’t this little squirt anymore, but you’ll always be this kid in my heart. You’re just starting out on your journey, and you’re on the minds and in prayers of many who love you. You’re going to do great things.
To my darling husband, you’ll always be my Captain America, whether you’re putting on that uniform or killing spiders for me. Your heart of service and your willingness to put others first is a light in this selfish world. Thank you.
If you would like to take a moment to give a shoutout to someone you know who is or was in the military, please share in the Comment Box below. Also, don’t forget to sign up for my weekly newsletter, where I include extra information on neurological disorders, education, encouragement, and sometimes, military life as well. As always, thanks for reading!
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