The Fourth of July is a time to celebrate. Even as a child before I knew why we celebrated, I looked forward to the Fourth of July and knew it was a special day. It was a day our family gathered together for a reunion. We lived in Illinois and we would come to Arkansas the first week in July. We got to shoot firecrackers and play with sparklers, something we did not get to do every day.
As I got older and into history lessons I realized the Fourth of July is celebrated, not because of my family reunion, but because it is the birth of the United States of America.
It was in 1776 when 13 small colonies declared their independence from England and the rest is history.
It took more than just a declaration to make it happen. So many sacrifices were made and lives were lost before those first American citizens won their independence.
Our son and his family live in Yorktown, Vir., and when we visit we love touring the historical sights including Colonial Williamsburg, Jamestown and many others. On a recent visit we took a side trip to visit the historical sight where George Washington grew up.
Our founding fathers may not be happy with some of today's happenings but they would probably be proud we are still around to celebrate Independence Day. I am sure those first leaders did not agree on every decision made but sometimes it seems today's leaders cannot agree on anything.
I worry about the lack of patriotism we see today. We should be thankful we live in a free country where we can make choices. I think because we have so many rights sometimes we take them for granted.
I know people have the right to burn the flag, take a knee during the National Anthem (for whatever statement they are making), or just be disagreeable all of the time, but I do not understand it. Surely there are other ways we can make a point.
We have the right to live where we want, work where we want, vote for the man or woman of our choice, serve in the military or not serve. We can worship in the church we choose to attend. Our children can attend any college they want or go right into the work force.
Yes, we have many reasons to celebrate Independence Day.
No matter how we choose to spend the day – attending a parade, family gathering, barbecuing, vacationing, fireworks display, or just relaxing in the recliner, let's take time to think about why the day should be remembered. From July 4, 1776, until now, many have made the ultimate sacrifice to make sure our country remains free and independent.
Also, remember to be safe with fireworks. The day is not much fun when the celebration has to end in the emergency room.