Independence Day

“Proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof.” – Liberty Bell Inscription

The Declaration of Independence would not mean very much if men of resolve did not stand ready to seal it with sacrifice.

Every Soldier, a term I use here as representative of all branches of the Armed Forces of the United States, knows his purpose and his potential sacrifice. Yet, he Soldiers on each day. Often under difficult conditions and always holding on to the memories of loved ones, home, peace, freedom and better times. Those memories are why he serves. He never asks for much. He doesn’t ask for thanks. He has the gift of selfless service. He savors the smallest comforts that most of us take for granted – a hot meal, a phone call home, mail, a hot shower and even clean socks. A post card from a schoolchild, a simple thank you or the smiling face of someone helped is about all it takes to recharge his enthusiasm to meet a day that might be his last. He’ll say a prayer and shed a tear for a fallen comrade then remember him forever with a bond only soldiers know.

In peaceful surroundings, he’ll show a broad grin when a fifty gun salute is fired on Independence Day. Regardless of age, he still gets a little tingle when he hears the Star Spangled Banner, when the flag goes up at Reveille or when it’s lowered at Retreat. When someone defaces or burns the symbol under which he serves and sacrifices, the emotion he feels is anger. But, the anger turns to sadness. Sadness that some might not know how great and free our country is and the sacrifices made to keep it great and free. Then he’ll look you in the eye and say that is why I do what I do – so others can openly express how they feel in a free country. His wish is that they all understand this and him.

If you study the history of the United States of America, you’ll have trouble finding a significant period or event that did not involve Soldiers. In 1776, patriot politicians declared America’s independence. Patriot Soldiers delivered it. That’s what Soldiers do.

While you’re out in the back yard this weekend or at the lake, watching fireworks, eating hot dogs and watermelon. Take some time to make sure your children understand the significance of our Nation’s birthday. Make sure you tell them why we celebrate Independence Day. Above all, make sure you tell them about the men and women of the Armed Forces who enable us to celebrate and who have sacrificed to “Proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof”

Happy Birthday America! Have a great holiday everyone!

Copyright © 2007 JD Pendry

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