Celebrate the 4th of July

The 4th of July is perhaps my favorite holiday. I think there is always an excitement about it. The parades, the summer time cookouts with friends, the gathering of families, the waving flags, the songs and the fireworks all bring joy to my heart.

But for me, it’s not just about the hoopla, it’s about a celebration of freedom. Freedom that allows for me to worship God without fear of harm. Freedom that allows me to educate my child at home. Freedom that allows me to train him in the nurture of the Lord, without the interference of others.

We live in a nation that is FREE. But that freedom isn’t free. It was won through the blood, sweat and tears of many men and women who sought for a nation whose government was of the people, for the people, and by the people. 

It remains free because of the men and women who choose to give their lives in service to our country. This happens at many levels, the first of which is the soldier who seeks to protect and defend our way of life, the police who seek to protect and serve in our communities, and the federal agents who protect and serve at the national level.

It doesn’t end there. We elect officials who serve to write law, uphold law and adjudicate law. Justices and lawyers seek to ensure that justice is maintained according to the law. We elect officials whose goal is to represent the people at the national level. While they don’t always uphold the oaths that they take, the reality is the power lies with us to elect those who will. If we fail in our duties to elect officials who speak for the people, then our government fails. 

Independence Day at Great Peace Academy

We are free. But our freedom isn’t guaranteed. If any of the above were to fail in their service, our freedom would be at risk. So that brings us back to Independence Day. The day when 238 years ago 56 men representing 13 colonies, joined together to let their voices be heard. The day when they declared When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.”

So as you gather over hotdogs, and watch your kids collect candy at the parade, as you sit with your spouse holding hands and watching the beautiful fireworks, remember. Remember that the rockets red glare that Frances Scott Key was referencing wasn’t from fireworks, it was from the bombs bursting in air from the cannons on ships in the Chesapeake Bay during the war of 1812. Remember that young men died to establish this country during the revolution, and have died maintaining that freedom ever since. Remember that if you aren’t satisfied with the direction our government is taking, that you bear responsibility for who you choose to vote for. Remember that we are a nation that is governed, as Lincoln so eloquently stated, “of the people, by the people, for the people,...”

My prayer remains, “God Bless America.” How do you remember Independence Day?

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