Picture by: Jubilee ImageryWhen I was growing up, we celebrated the 4th of July in my Grandparent's small town in Northern California. We hand cranked our own vanilla ice-cream on the front porch of the old brick house and waited impatiently for the ice-cream and of course, the fireworks.
The fire-chief lived a couple of houses over, and a bunch of families would get together at his place each bringing a bunch of fireworks and something yummy to share. We'd eat and laugh and write our names in the air with our sparklers. When it was really good and dark, we'd sit on our lawn-chairs cuddling under our blankets while the firemen would take turns setting off the 'big ones'. I miss the simplicity of those days, when you didn't have to go to a huge public showing of fireworks to enjoy them in person. I get the fact that there were tons of accidents and things, but the idea that my kids will never get the thrill of being able to write their names against a dark sky makes me a little sad.
That being said, fireworks are themselves, not the 4th of July, nor is the ice-cream, the barbecue or the potato salad. It's about remembering the people who saw fit to not allow one man to rule over everyone in this land according to whatever whim struck his fancy. These men, loved their God and tried to put his principles to work in governing the people. They stood up for what they believed in enough to fight for the right to be free. So many others have followed in their footsteps, and today I want to honor their efforts by reminding us all of something Ronald Reagan once said, "Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same." So let's sing the songs of freedom with our kids, and teach them about the people who have gone before us, and honor our soldiers, and respect our flag, and honor our God, so that when it is their turn to be in charge, they will have an understanding of the great cost of freedom and will take it upon themselves to maintain it for future generations.
Happy Birthday, America... and many more!