Wednesday, July 4, 2007

July 4, 2007

I experienced Small Town USA last night. Actually it's not so small anymore. It used to be when it was an agricultural town, but now it is a growing, bustling suburb. But to me, it's still my small town. We attended the fireworks display as we do every year. I LOVE IT! Some say that is such a waste of money, to spend thousands of dollars to go up in smoke. But surely anything that brings so many families together in one place cannot be a bad thing.

Everywhere we looked were families....moms and dads and grandparents with little ones in strollers, riding on Daddy's shoulders, being pulled in wagons. What a sight to behold!! These families are making memories, establishing family traditions, they are creating the glue that holds families together. When these children grow up, they will want to re-create these moments for their children and grandchildren. Mine did and I got the joy of watching our precious granddaughter watch her first fireworks display, totally mesmerized as she sat in her grandfather's lap. What a million dollar moment!!!

To me, that is what America is all about. We are free to enjoy moments just like that! There are no bombs going off, just the sound of fireworks, exploding into brilliant color against the night sky. We were in a public park where families come and play every day, where little leaguers play ball, and joggers run early each morning without fear. Our town is not littered with the debris of war and conflict. People are not huddled in their homes, frightened to venture out. There was plenty to eat and we were surrounded by nice homes. Everywhere you looked there was evidence of the bounty freedom provides.

But that freedom is not free. It costs a lot. Even as we were enjoying such a memorable evening, our men and women in uniform across this world were fighting under horrible conditions to provide us that very freedom. Many have lost their lives doing so. Many have come home wounded, disfigured and disabled for life. No, that freedom has cost many all they have. We must NOT take it for granted.

This holiday affords us the opportunity to laugh and play, to gather with friends and family, to eat barbeque and watch baseball....and I believe our soldiers would want us to do that...that is what they are fighting for, but as we do, let's not forget them nor those who have gone before them. At some point today...maybe even as you are reading this...stop and thank God for America, thank Him for those who have given so much for our freedom, say a prayer for those who are still fighting. And today, if you see someone who is a veteran, someone who has served our country in any capacity....Army, Navy, Marines, Coast Guard, Air Force, National Guard...take them by the hand, look them in the eye, and tell them THANK YOU and ask God to bless them. We don't say it enough.


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