Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Happy 4th of July

Independence Day is one of my favorite holidays. I can't help but smile and fill with pride when I see the red white and blue of the flag go up in store windows, street corners, and on the front porches of so many homes. It is a feeling of strength, of pride, of gratitude and humility all neatly wrapped into one. It is a feeling that warms the heart and the soul.  It is hamburgers and hotdogs, fireworks and swimming pools, parades and homemade apple pie and ice cream.  I am so grateful to live in this country and have the freedoms that we enjoy. I have such respect for every man and woman that has served in our armed forces and in the agencies that protect our freedoms.  Everything that we enjoy is owed to the brave men and women who have fought and stood with unfailing courage against the enemies of the freedom we so cherish, many giving their own lives to protect the way we get to live. Thank you to my father and uncle for their valiant service in Vietnam and after. Thank you to my brother-in-law for his service in Iraq.  A huge thank you to all of you who have served - past and present heros. As I enjoy my traditional 4th of July pancake breakfast and family barbecue with fireworks, I will do so with smiles and laughter mingling in the air, pride in my heart and a lump in my throat - enjoying my family and the celebration and remembering the sacrifices that were made for what is truly special and uniquely American.  Happy 4th of July!