It was that time of year again - Independence Day - The Fourth of July! I can't think of a better country to be a part of. Independence Day has always been one of my favorites. I enjoyed the fireworks, warm weather and outdoor activities. It was the day I brought my only child home from the hospital after his birth. I called him my little firecracker. Life was good. Then the unspeakable happened and my child died of cancer.. Now it is a little harder to find a reason to celebrate. I am lonely and have to dig for reasons to celebrate. Still, I continue on my journey and look for new meaning.
I began to really think about other people and the very reason we celebrate Independence Day. I started thinking about all the hoopla surrounding this day of celebration and how hard it was for me. I looked into the eyes of my neighbors and saw their grief after their son died in Iraq two years ago. They have one less son to celebrate with this year. Our sons used to watch each other's fireworks go off and attend the local display. We are a close knit farming and ranching community. Always there to help one another. Then I began to think of all the grieving parents whose children have died in Iraq and how lonely they are at this time of year and every other holiday. Their lives have been changed forever. And I even felt compassion for the innocent Iraqi lives that have been lost. Lives forever changed.
The news was announced that former President George W. Bush was coming to Woodward to be a part of their celebration. Did he coming because he was lonely and has no one to celebrate with like many of the parents who have lost their sons and daughters in Iraq? Was he doing charity work? In fact, people were charged to attend this function. I think we need to think about some of these questions and remember the suffering parents, grandparents and siblings. Did Bush profit from this function? Would he come on any other terms?
I am not on a political agenda. I support our troops and want good things for the world. However, I want each of us, government leaders included, to be responsible and accountable for our actions. Let us all truly believe in what we are doing, whatever it may be, and not put our own personal gains and profits before the good of others.
I wasn't in Woodward on July 4 this year. I was quietly celebrating at home, but my thoughts and prayers were with many of these grieving parents. Let's remember what our founding fathers believed in and represented so many years ago. Let's get back to the roots of our country.