Earlier this week I was reminded of something that, my guess is, most of us take for granted. Independence Day. How many people state that they are going to enjoy the “4th of July Holiday”? What does that mean to you? Falling into the trap that reduces a national holiday to the date of a calendar reduces the meaning of the day to one of “I don’t have to go to work today.”
It is bad enough that the holiday, falling on a Saturday this year, actually seems to start on Thursday. People are leaving work early Thursday to get to a destination so they can have a FULL three day weekend away at a lake, a camp ground, the mountains, wherever. Business has accommodated by providing a Holiday on Friday because the Holiday falls on Saturday.
What we are really celebrating on “July 4th” is “Independence Day”. It is a day set aside, annually, to allow our citizens an opportunity to celebrate the independence our country gained in 1776. Remember it took years, not one day, of war to gain that independence. For that, I commend our country’s founding fathers for their vision of a Free Country.
Don’t get me wrong. I enjoy the day off. I enjoy watching fireworks. I truly enjoy our freedom. At the same time I commend all of those who, over the past two plus centuries, have fought to maintain our freedom. The sacrifice that so many have made that we might be Free is overwhelming.
So, instead of celebrating the “4th of July”, thank a current soldier for his/her service protecting us, maintaining our freedom and making an effort to help others around the world obtain their freedom. Thank a Veteran for their service in past wars. They fought to protect us so that we could all have the freedom of choice to live our lives in a way that suited us and our families.
Happy Independence Day.