Today is the Fourth of July, a holiday packed with meaning for those of us here in the United States...just as those of you in other nations have your patriotic days you observe. And THIS fourth has got me to thinking.
I was just outside with my Yorkie-baby, Ceci, and the fireworks have begun. It's a fairly noisy place outside right now...okay, and inside, too. I was mindful of how the noise affects my dogs...which sounds funny, I guess, but that's what I was thinking of. Ceci was oblivious to the noise. Pooh, so far, has been fairly chilled about it, too, aside from an occasionally REALLY loud one that startles him. But anyway, as I was thinking about it, I thought of how odd it was to be able to just tune out the noise. But then I realized that the reason it was so easy was because it isn't a threat and because I know it's a celebratory thing. And that turned my thoughts yet again. This time I wondered...what must it be like...how awful it must be...to be either a soldier or a civilian in a war zone...hearing similar sounds and worse all around you...all the time...and knowing that not only are the sources of the noise a threat to you and those around you...but that more than likely there are people being hurt and even killed when you hear those sounds.
The price that has been paid for our freedom...for our ways of life...is monumental. And yet we as a people can be so "you owe me!"-minded...rather than humbled by the sacrifices made for us.
I don't know what all I'd like to say in this blog tonight. I don't know exactly where I was headed. But I am thankful and saddened by the many lives lost in the history of our nation so that I can enjoy the freedoms that I do.
So to all of you in uniform...to all of you married to those in uniform...to all of you whose parents have served...whose grandfathers and uncles and brothers have served...thank you...and may God bless you.
To those of you serving now, may God keep you and protect you.
And to my own grandfather...who I never met, but who gave up his own life in the Battle of the Bulge...thank you...and may you rest in peace.
Happy Independence Day, everyone.