Sunday, July 3, 2011

The Day of Freedom

I never completely understood the Fourth of July. I mean, of course it's a huge holiday to celebrate our nation's independence and the freedom we are guaranteed each day, but the holiday always felt so distant. As with most holidays these days, we forget the meaning of a holiday amongst the celebrations. In this case, it's all of the fireworks, barbecues and family get-togethers.

Today though, I really got to thinking about what the holiday means for me. I spent the whole day reading the book The Five People You Meet in Heaven, by Mitch Albom. If you can, please read it. It's an absolutely amazing story about an old man in his 80s named Eddie who, for his whole life, was haunted by his experiences in WWII. A lot of things happened in that book, but the WWII experiences he faced and how it changed his life forever really hit home for me. I realized something:

War sucks.

It's awful that so many people die. It's awful that thousands to millions of innocent people die. It's awful that those who serve come back changed forever, because they left all of their happiness, their dreams, and sometimes their lives, all for a purpose:

For me and you to be able to wake up the next morning and live our happy lives in the best way we know how: in freedom.

I know, I know, I'm corny and lame. I know this isn't Veterans Day, but look at the bigger picture: we are free because of the sacrifices so many people had to make in our history. We are free because of George Washington's army, who suffered the bitter cold of winter without shoes and food, but fought bravely for a cause they believed in. We are free because some people dared to stand up to King George III and, well aware of the consequences that could come in the likelihood that they failed, defended their freedoms fearlessly.

We are free because of soldiers like Eddie, who lost their souls and lives in fighting, yet continued (and still continue) to defend their country bravely.

Happy 4th of July everyone! Remember though, our freedoms should not be remembered only one day of the year; every day is a day for its recognition.

"Where liberty dwells, there is my country" Benjamin Franklin


  1. Ooo, beautiful quote! And great pondering! You really gave this day some thought, something so few people take the time to do. I am so glad I took the time to read it, too! It was fun!

    Have a great day!

  2. I'm not American but happy 4th of July anyway lol!

    This was a very moving patriotic post! :)

  3. This post is so true. I'm not American either but happy 4th of July! Hope you have a great day :)

  4. hey!!!! Nice post and I'm not even an American! Although I don't understand why you're so disappointed about getting a holiday. I dance around naked when I get a holiday. lol. But so true. We always forget the meaning behind it. Hmm...


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