Among military families, there are some special holidays that we hold near and dear to our hearts. The Fourth of July is certainly one of those days. It’s a day to celebrate the birth of this beautiful, growing nation. A time to look back on the strong men and women of our history who fought for our independence. It’s with bravery, strength, and unwavering determination, that they risked everything to make sure that the American people would have a future.
Today we acknowledge the things that were sacrificed in order to cement our rights, and we recognize the men and women who have walked in their footsteps since that day, 240 years ago. We look back at what they did with hope that people with the same strength still exist today. All across America, families are celebrating their freedom; a privilege that many have never had. And to each of them, it means something different. Here’s what Fourth of July means to us!
A Time To Celebrate
The Fourth of July is one of my favorite holidays, hands down. This is a day that brings all Americans together, no matter what they do or where they started. It’s a time that we get to spend together, which is a rare blessing in our world. For a brief moment everything is calm, and we can enjoy that moment of peace with our families. Today, we can teach young children what this day truly means. That it’s not all about fireworks and barbecues; it’s the reasons we can have them.
It’s also a time to celebrate those who are fighting at home and overseas to ensure that freedom. Today we celebrate the homecomings and the safe returns, and we remember how incredibly lucky we are to have such blessings. We celebrate the brave choices that were made by each person who has stood on the front line, and we pray that they all come home to us.
A Time To Remember
This nation has faced some very trying and dark times. But despite those challenges, we have risen. Today we remember our triumphs, but we also remember our tragedies. We think about the past, but we look forward to the future. And we remember that because of those who fought, we have a future. We owe them a debt that can never be repaid.
A Time To Mourn
On a silent and stoic, black granite wall, there are over 58,000 names. The names of everyone from 1954 to 2011 who have given their lives defending the very ground that we so often take for granted. A few hundred miles from that wall, there’s the very place where on September 11, 2001, America felt one of the greatest losses in history. And there are the thousands of men and women who since that day, have made the Ultimate Sacrifice. I know that this isn’t Memorial Day; they are two very different things. But this day is about freedom, which we wouldn’t have if it weren’t for those names.
Today, they can’t be with their families. You won’t find them at barbecues or the beach. You won’t find them playing with their children and grandchildren. They’re only to be found in our hearts. They are our reminder that freedom isn’t free. They are proof that if we don’t keep fighting, everything that happened in the last 240 years could be taken away.
A Time To Be Proud
I am immensely proud to be an American. Not because of what we have or what we are able to do, but because of who we are and what we represent. We are tough, resilient, and ruthless when it comes to protecting what we love. We fight for our own freedom, and for the freedom of others.
Sometimes I’m so proud that I feel like I could burst. Because I understand what was given up for us to have this life. I understand sacrifice, and separation, and heartache. But I also understand that it’s all worth it. People gave their lives so that my brother and my boyfriend could fight for this country. So that they could raise their hand, under oath, and swear to defend the United States of America. There is no greater promise.
Happy Independence Day, from my family to yours!