Americans are preparing to celebrate the Fourth of July holiday with a full weekend of activities. Much of that will include getting together with family and friends for backyard cookouts, fireworks displays, and special events sponsored by local communities and other civic entities. There will be ballgames and events with the national anthem played and sung, and flyovers by military aircraft to honor the country's heritage and national pride. Countless homes across the nation will fly the U.S. flag on their front porch, and the country will be flush with displays of red, white, and blue.
However, in all this national display of patriotism, let us not forget the true meaning of what our liberty represents as the land of the free and the home of the brave. Americans have a rich history of freedom defended both at home and abroad, going back over 230 plus years to our colonial roots. Beginning with the initial struggle against Great Britain by the colonists in the early 1770's, following with a long war for independence, a second onslaught by British troops and their monarchy to topple the young America in the early 1800's, a long and bloody Civil War in the 1860's that pitted family against family that created a split between North and South and resulted in the deaths of over 600,000 men and women on our own soil (finally culminating in a resolution bringing all Americans together again--though with lasting effects to today), more conflicts with Mexico, Spain, and other nations through the end of the 1800's, two major World Wars in the 20th century--not to mention other major conflicts in Korea, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East which still are in turmoil today--Americans have given the ultimate sacrifice for liberty and freedom. Those events must ever be forefront in the national conscience when the July 4th Holiday is celebrated.
Less we forget, there are hundreds of books and media sources that outline the events and catastrophic loss of life and property for each of the epic struggles for liberty. A website that shows casualties by conflict for the Revolutionary War is http://www.revolutionarywararchives.org/warstats.html . One source for casualties in the Civil War alone can be found at http://www.civilwarhome.com/casualties.htm , and another site for overall casualties from all major conflicts can be seen at http://www.history.navy.mil/library/online/american%20war%20casualty.htm . Needless to say, America has lost many of its best and brightest to maintain liberty.
Many who served in those military endeavors died from disease and inadequate health care, especially in the 18th and 19th centuries. Health care has always been an issue during times of both peace and war. However, it is not a right but a privilege. Americans have certain inalienable rights as guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution. Certainly freedom of choice is a key ingredient for establishing life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. When the national government attempts to legislate or mandate regulations that are detrimental to the safety of its citizens and its own welfare, Americans must take a stand to let their elected representatives and politicians that enough is enough. Freedom to choose your health care provider is key to your own personal and moral freedom. Freedom to purchase or not purchase your own health insurance is key to your financial freedom. Nationalized health care is not constitutional, nor does it represent any freedoms based upon our history as Americans.
When you consider how much blood, toil, energy, and sacrifice has taken place since 1776, remember the picture of George Washington kneeling in the snow at Valley Forge. Although it is a painting, it represents our American heritage of reliance on "Providence", as Washington often referred to a higher spiritual being. Although there has been some controversy about his personal religious beliefs, Washington was known as a morally righteous man, and a defender of faith and liberty. He knew that a fledgling nation would not survive unless its dependence was upon God and not on its own merits. The concept of religious freedom was then and is now paramount to our central core as a people, and from that basis stems all other freedoms Americans hold dear. It is the cornerstone on which all other freedoms are based because it focuses on the knowledge that without dependence on God, there is no liberty or freedom.
America's true history has been largely ignored in much of the media today. Unfortunately, too much focus is based on fireworks and fun times, going to the beach or on vacation, and taking advantage of the big holiday sales events. Too little attention is focused on our heritage as a Christian nation, our memories of those who sacrificed life, liberty and their sacred honor to defend America, and the reasons Americans enjoy freedom and liberty. This weekend, take time to remember our liberty, our nation, our history as Americans, and then enjoy your country with new found respect and honor. Fly the U.S. flag at your home, sing the national anthem with gusto, and say a prayer of thanks to God that you live in a nation that provides freedom and liberty. If you know someone who has served in the military, tell them you appreciate their service. When you go to church, tell those around you that the Fourth of July should be honored with true Christian service and humility. Send your Congressman a note or call his/her office and encourage them to stand up for freedom and liberty.
Remember. It's your country. Enjoy liberty and freedom. Most of all, keep it free.
Until next time. Let me know what you think.