For most of us, Independence Day (aka The 4th of July) is a time to grill, spend time with family & friends, then watch some fireworks. Things haven’t changed much for the past fifty years to tell the truth.
When I was little, it was all about the sparklers we would light up and, thankfully, not burn our eyes out. I still can’t believe we didn’t end up in the hospital from playing with those! Sure, we had the smoke bombs, the snake things, the flying saucer spinners, and the fire crackers too. But, it was the sparkler that was what I always looked forward to.
Back then, we didn’t have gas grills. No, we had charcoal and, boy, did those burgers taste great! Every summer, we would also head out to the Clawson Pond where my dad’s side of the family would gather. We had hotdogs, smores, and a full meal prepared by my grandmother and aunts. Not to mention, we swam in the pond until we turned into prunes.
It seemed like life moved much slower then. Today, it’s a mad house just to get to the parade downtown. Then, trying to get to the fireworks is like attending a demolition derby! The last few years, we’ve opted to watch them on television or just park a LONG way away to avoid the craziness.
In all the madness today, my only hope, is that people remember the real reason for the celebration. That we take time to be thankful for the freedoms we enjoy every day. That we put down our political weapons and come together as one nation to celebrate our independence as a people.
I know I will be thinking about that more than ever. It’s easy to get caught up in it all, but the truth is, what really matters about that day is that we remember the sacrifice made by so many people who gave their lives so that we can enjoy that baseball game while eating a hotdog taking pictures of ourselves on our cell phones to send to family across the country.
So tonight, I’d like to start the week by saying thank you to all who have served this great country, thank you to all who have family who gave their lives, so we can be free, and thank you to all of you who are serving our country now. This Navy tribute below says what I’m feeling. May God bless you all and may God bless America!...
Thankful to be free,