Today is the Fourth of July, a national holiday...that last year we were unable to celebrate. This year friends and families will gather together with flags and food and fireworks. What does the Fourth of July mean to you? This morning in church, our service began with Fanfare for the Common Man, it took my breath away! Next, the choir performed, God of Our Fathers which always brings tears to my eyes. How fortunate we are as a nation to have these glorious pieces of music to remind us of the blessings we have in this country...the biggest being FREEDOM.
Men and women continue to served our country, and over the years many have died for our country because they believed in the freedoms that we have. Many lives have been lost so that other countries might have the same kind of freedom that we share in the United States. Our founding fathers created The First Amendment to ensure our freedom of speech, free press, choice of our religion, freedom to peacefully assemble and the right to petition the government. These freedoms are for everyone.
Here are some memories that made me have a great appreciation for my country.
My father, a WWII veteran continued his service in the National Guard for many years as I grew up. I remember him teaching us the importance of living in a free country and standing up for what we believed.
I remember being in school when everyone proudly said the Pledge of Allegiance (will many children know the Pledge in 50 years?)
I remember singing the National Anthem with pride and great gusto
I remember when people could share their beliefs without fear of being cancelled
Times have changed...if we fail to pass down the importance of our freedoms. our grand-children will have nothing to guide them.
No country is perfect, but the United States has afforded us freedoms that many countries do not have. I fear that we are moving from being the country known as "the melting pot" a place where different peoples, styles, and theories are mixed together...to today's country being defined as US and THEM.
I believe that as a country, we can do better by working together. On this Fourth of July, lets celebrate our freedom of speech, religion and our voice to speak. Maybe we can agree to disagree while striving to make this country better through collaboration and listening to different points of view. We just might find common ground to help solve the challenges we face. Let's always remember the freedoms established by our forefathers in the US Constitution set us apart from other countries.
God Bless America!