When I was very young the Fourth of July was time for a picnic, swimming and a big watermelon. Then in school I learned why our ancestors did not like the fruits of their hard work taken from them by those who did not work, and there was a revolution. When I became an adult, it was my time to serve. I was fortunate, as I was not in combat, but served with those who had been. I appreciated their sacrifices.
While living in Europe, my wife sang in the Frankfurt American Choir, as did many Americans, and many traveled miles to sing in the choir. On the Fourth of July, we had celebrations in the old opera houses and our 3rd Army Band would perform. It was amazing to see and hear so much talent that was in our military, and it made you very proud.
While traveling we would occasionally encounter an American tourist who was in need of assistance. Out of nowhere you would hear, “I’m an American, can I help,” in so many cases it was one of our military.
I pray that we remember why we celebrate the Fourth of July. It was to be free from excessive taxation, to move and speak freely and not be oppressed by big government and a dictatorship. Let us remember the Spirit of ‘76.
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