“Those who desire to give up freedom in order to gain security will not have, nor do they deserve, either one.” Benjamin Franklin
When my kids were little, we celebrated July 4th or Independence Day with all the pomp and pageantry it deserved; cook outs, barbeques, desserts galore, and the trip down to the waterfront to enjoy the fireworks and other entertainment organized by the village. We invited friends and neighbors over, and it was one of the few times we had several members of a family in one room. The kids loved the chance to run wild with their friends and all was well with the world… But what did it all really mean? Those gatherings reminded us of the importance of our personal freedom; our right to congregate and enjoy a meal with others without feeling as if we were under siege. We didn’t have to worry about living in a war zone, enduring food rations or any of the proverbial spoils of war. In this regard, we are fortunate in America, and we must remember to treat this day with reverence and gratitude for the Freedom and Peace we enjoy.
“Everything that is really great and inspiring is created by the individual who can labor in freedom.” Albert Einstein
Now that the kids are older, we don’t celebrate in quite the same way. We have a small family affair and may/may not invite a few friends over. It is still a happy occasion but different. As a matter of fact, this year, for America’s 235th birthday, we plan to celebrate the day quietly with a focus on offering prayers for peace; personal, national, and global peace. Peace is a term most don’t spend much time thinking about until they are on the verge of losing it or when all is lost to strife and war. Living in a democratic nation means we are protected from chaos and anarchy, and enjoy other protections under the law… I think it is important to remember on this day the value of our freedom, our independence and our history. Enjoy your meals and have a terrific July 4th celebration! More below!