When you think of the Fourth of July, you think of our nation’s birthday and everything that goes with it. It is a call of celebration.
This day is dedicated to our freedom gained at the blood of our forefathers to end Britian’s rule while obtaining our independence. We became a sovereign nation responsible for our own successes and failures. The Constitution was drawn and a Declaration of Independence was proclaimed. A rag-tag army of poorly trained, poorly fed and poorly equipped settlers, farmers, sailors, tradesmen and businessmen amassed forces and defeated the most powerful army of the time.
This country was founded on fortitude, blood, sweat and a human will to succeed. Thanks to their endeavors, our flags of freedom still wave 241 years later. Today we still stand tall as a nation. Thank you, patriots.
Patriotism is still alive and well. Many people have no idea what patriotism really is. It is often taken for granted, or it goes unnoticed. A veteran recognizes patriotism. The American veteran is the heartbeat of patriotism.
Patriotism presents itself in various forms in this great nation. A Fourth of July parade honoring our independence and our veterans is patriotic. Patriotism is also the little child waving a tiny American flag at an event. It is people who volunteer to organize, fund and escort Honor Flights for our aging veterans. It is monuments erected to memorialize our warriors. It is the family that has an American flag in its yard or on the porch every day of the year commemorating the sacrifice of our warriors both alive and deceased. It is children child saying the Pledge of Allegiance with a hand over their hearts. It is the man who removes his hat with his hand on his heart when a flag is unfurled. It is a soldier’s salute to our flag. It is also the young men and women who enlist in our armed services to protect our homeland against all enemies, both foreign and domestic. Patriotism is also the widow presented with a blanket placed atop her husband’s grave in Arlington National Cemetery, crying as her children hug the white cross headstone of their fallen warrior. Patriotism is also women like Mrs. Sullivan from Waterloo, Iowa, who lost five sons during the dark days of World War II in a matter of moments while they selflessly sacrificed their lives for our nation.
Patriotism is far more than a word. It is a tribute to all who have sacrificed so we may enjoy “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” We continue to this very day to see those dedicated to the success of this great nation while many others try to tear it down.
I am beyond thankful to be born an American. I am proud of my father who served in two wars, my brother-in-law who served in Vietnam and my son who served in the 27th Fighter Tactical Wing of Spec Ops. All veterans are heroes today and forever.
I just ask that this year that you enjoy festivities and celebrate with your friends and families. I just request that you to please take a moment to remember the real meaning of this holiday. Share the meaning with the young people in your lives as an act of rememberance. Many of your countrymen are buried on foreign soil, never to return home to their loved ones so you and your family may live in freedom’s glorious light.
God bless our veterans, our country, our freedoms, and Old Glory — long may she wave. Happy Fourth of July, Americans!
— By HICK FINN