Independence Day brings such wonderful childhood memories. We lived in Bethany, Oklahoma in what seemed like such a simpler and more innocent time. We lived pretty modestly over all, but every 4th of July my parents always managed a visit to the Fireworks stand to load the trunk with explosive goodies. Next we would pack up our food basket, drive over to McFarland Park, and set up our picnic area waiting for dark. There were many other families there too, and when darkness fell, it was a free-for-all light show until everyone ran out of ammo. It seems like only yesterday.
For us, the 4th of July was about sparklers, bottle rockets and Roman candles. It was lost on us that all these explosions were symbolic of the bombardment of Colonial forces by the British navy, and of the celebration that accompanied our nations birth. As an adult I recognize the significance of the date, and the sacrifices that were made to free us from the tyranny of a Monarch and an oppressive government thousands of miles away. I also recognize the sacrifices that have since been made in redefining the character and meaning of our nation, and protecting the free world from the powers of tyranny, domination and evil. My ancestors and relatives have served in every war this nation has engaged, though thankfully none close to me has made the ultimate sacrifice for our country.
This independence day, I hope you will consider the gift all these brave souls have given us, at what price, and what it means to be independent, both as a nation and as individuals. Our founding fathers gave us freedom and generations of fighting men have given life and limb to ensuring we get to keep it. Most of us have only the simple task of going to the polls to exercise our right to a voice in our government. I hope you will use yours to reaffirm Freedom, Liberty and Independence, and to hold back the forces of Big Government, Big Taxes, and Entitlements.
To all of you veterans and active service men...
Happy Independence Day!