You Don't Know What You've Got 'til It's Gone

  Sunday, October 31
I was enjoying a lovely fall afternoon walking east from Logansport, Indiana, when a pick-up truck passed slowly by, then pulled to the side of the road. As I approached a rather diminutive Asian man stepped out and warmly greeted me asking the purpose of my walk. After listening, he then politely began to share his personal story.
His name is Tin Aye, he is now a proud citizen of the United States, and he very much appreciates the freedoms we possess as Americans. Tin Aye is originally from Burma and was twice jailed while there for his involvement in the pro democracy movement. As his story continued to unfold my heart melted and I was emotionally moved.
Though Tin Aye no longer lives in his native land, he continues to be active as an ex-patriot and has twice met with President Obama at the White House. He personally knows Aung San Suu Kyi, the Burmese leader who was arrested by the military government and has been held under house arrest since 1990. Aung San Suu Kyi received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991 for her steadfast resolve and has become a personal symbol of the Burmese democracy movement. Tin Aye now lives in Fort Wayne, Indiana, where he and others of a small community of Burmese-American people continue working to bring freedom to their former country.
Tin Aye thanked me sincerely for what I am doing and insisted on donating $20 for my cause. Each of us, from different cultural backgrounds, were united now by country and a common belief. He warmly grasped my hands in fond farewell, then returned to his truck and disappeared into the Indiana countryside.
I stood for a moment in awe with the autumn leaves swirling about my feet. Then, bending my head to the wind I continued onward with renewed inspiration.

In the United States, our military is led by a civilian - he is called the Commander-in-Chief and is the President. Our Constitution is important.


  1. It is something that many take for granted because they have never experienced or even heard the stories of those who have given so much to attain what we have at Birth. Our Freedoms and rights were won by sacrifice of so many patriots. How neat that you were able to meet one who hasn't forgotten his homeland and the people there now that he has his own freedom. A True Patriot of Freedom.

  2. How often we forget what we have.
    Nice entry
    Sheila P.