Too many times we take our independence and freedom for granted. As we celebrate the Fourth of July, our Independence Day, we should take a little time to think about what it took to get us here and what it has taken to keep us here.
There will be a lot of family gatherings, community-wide celebrations, and fireworks held in conjunction with the Fourth of July celebrations.
With the Fourth of July falling on Monday, many will get to enjoy a long weekend.
My growing up years meant we would have a big family reunion on the Fourth of July. For many years we would gather in Walnut Ridge at my great-grandfather's home. Then when he moved to Keiser, naturally, we moved the reunion. My grandparents, who lived in Illinois at the time, always took the first week of July to come to Arkansas to be there for the big Fourth of July reunion. We had lots of food and we especially enjoyed playing outside with all of the cousins.
Caraway will host its annual Fourth of July Celebration -- a 66-year tradition. I am sure it has taken a lot of work through the years to keep it going. From the bandstand events and carnival to the fireworks, it is still a great way to celebrate Independence Day. This year the activities will be held Saturday, July 2.
I always enjoy the fireworks. They do an excellent job.
On Monday, July 4, there will be a fireworks display at the Leachville City Park. For the last several years a group called the Cave Dwellers have put on a great display of fireworks for the community.
The Fourth of July always makes me realize another half of year has gone by. It is our country's birthday, and it is good we can still celebrate it any way we want to because we have freedom. We can express our own opinions, live where we want, choose the careers we want, vote for whom we choose and go to the church of our choice.
It had to be hard on those early patriots who went up against uneven odds to declare Independence. I am sure it would have been easier to just sit back and do as they were told. Thank goodness they sacrificed and held out. We are still reaping the rewards of their determination.
As I said before, let's not forget why we celebrate. We need to teach our children and grandchildren what it means to be free and instill in them a sense of pride for our country, respect for our flag and what it stands for. We should tell them about the sacrifices so many men and women have made to keep us free.
I am afraid too many young people today just think freedom means they can bash each other on the internet with true or false information.
I hope everyone has a great Fourth of July.
Here is my annual warning to be careful with fireworks and watch the kids. A trip to the emergency room is never a good way to end a holiday.