By Jeanne Takenaka
As we prepare to celebrate our country’s independence later this week, it’s good to remember what we’re celebrating.
We’re not (or shouldn’t be) celebrating the latest sale at Macy’s and the great deals we’ll get if we shop on July 4th weekend. Although, we’re certainly free to do that if we so desire.
We’re not celebrating fireworks, though they do raise up a sense of patriotism—of victory—within most of us. They remind us of the importance of family and of our history.
We’re not celebrating hamburgers and hotdogs and barbecues in the backyard. Though July 4th is a great time to connect with family and friends.
We’re celebrating our nation’s freedom and the unique country our forefathers fought so hard to create.
Regardless of where people stand in terms of God, most will acknowledge the United States is a blessed nation. We have the freedom to practice religion as we desire. We’re gifted with the freedom to share what’s on our minds, even if it goes against what our nation’s leaders espouse. We have the freedom to travel within our country without passports and without fear of being stopped and searched for no reason
We take for granted many freedoms people in other parts of the world only dream of.
These freedoms aren’t just passed down. Ronald Reagan was right when he said that each generation must fight for and protect them. Our country has fought many wars since its inception, in order to protect the tenets of the Declaration of Independence and the freedoms it ensures.
The Revolutionary War
The War of 1812
The Civil War
World Wars One and Two
The Korean War
The Viet Nam War
And the wars we’ve fought over the last twenty years
The men and women who serve our country in the Armed Forces and as contractors with the military are on the front lines protecting the freedoms we live out.
My hope is that as people shop, watch parades, spend time with family and friends and ooooh over fireworks, they won’t forget what we’re really celebrating on Independence Day. And those who make it possible.
What about you? Do you have any July 4th traditions? What comes to mind when you think of Independence Day?