Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Not another Hallmark card

I'm planning our 4Th of July, Independence Day for the United States.

We are having homemade hamburgers (with handmade patties), fries and maybe a little ice cream for dessert. I bought some sparklers so let's cross our fingers that we all still have our fingers when it's all over. We also bought some red, white and blue decorations to cheer up the porch.

The thing is, during all of this planning and festooning, I started feeling a little guilty.

There are men and women on the front lines, away from their kids, sleeping in tents, or on the ground, or in a dusty ditch, or unable to sleep anywhere. Some of them are wounded, recovering in hospitals or at home relearning how to walk, if they are able to walk at all.

All the while, I am trying to decide what kind of hamburger buns we should have. Sounds a little pathetic, doesn't it?

So I thought about it. I want us to celebrate but I don't want to take for granted the people who are literally, at this moment, making the celebration possible.

I want them all to know how thankful I am.

Not a Hallmark kind of thankful.

Not a let's all sing Lee Greenwood for the 500Th time so we can feel all warm and fuzzy and patriotic inside and move on to our daily routines July 5Th.

Nope. Not that kind of thankful.

I want all of the soldiers, active and retired, to know how truly grateful I am for them. So I will do for them what matters most.

I will pray for them and for their families.

When someone makes ignorant, misguided remarks about how the military of this country is spoiled or pampered, I will proudly speak up for all the men and women who sacrifice daily for our freedom to make ignorant, misguided remarks.

I will vote responsibly.

I will stand in respect, hat off, hand on my heart, when I hear the National Anthem play.

And I will join in. And know all the words.

I will teach my daughter about Christian civic duty.

I will show my thanks by cherishing the freedoms we still hold dear to our hearts...

Freedom to worship anywhere I choose without fearing death.

Freedom to express myself, even on the Internet.

Freedom to walk down the street to visit a neighbor without fear of a car bomb.

Freedom to be a Stay-At-Home-Mom or a doctor or a dentist or a plumber, or whatever I dream.

Freedom to own a Bible.

Freedom to do the small, everyday things that we take for granted...

A warm slice of apple pie or a cold wedge of watermelon.

Grilling hamburgers out back while savoring the smell of my neighbor's BBQ ribs next door.

Feeling warm and fuzzy when I hear Lee Greenwood or I sing the national anthem.

Seeing my child's face in the light of sparklers at dusk.

The little things that bring me happiness in the midst of freedom.

To all of the soldiers across the sea who are defending our freedom today and everyday, we thank you and we pray that you are safe. We'll keep the pie warm, the watermelon cold, and Old Glory waving proudly until you come home.

God Bless you.

16 comments:

Kelli said...

That is what it's all about. You put it wonderfully!

Dreama said...

Amen!

Lynne said...

Amen! Thanks for this post. And thanks to all who make it possible.

Linda said...

I ditto that amen.

Sista Cala said...

Uplifting, inspiring, and refreshing to read someone w/kindred spirit on the subject of Independance Day.

Any time I see a serviceman or woman, I go up to them and say,'thank you'. I can't get much more than that out, because the tears begin to well up in my eyes. They usually smile and say thank you back.

I'm starting to tear up now, just thinking about it. The price they pay to serve me. If the general public would realize the benefit to them as individuals, I believe they would be more appreciative.

T-Time said...

Well said. Thanks for saying it so accurately and sincerely. I agree with all of my heart. I've been "lurking" for months now but had to "AMEN!" that beautiful post. Happy 4th to you and yours!

sprymary said...

Beautiful!!!

Tami said...

Thanks, Melanie.

I think the fight for freedom is for freedom in the big things- like freedom in worship, education, vocation, speech, etc. And the fight for freedom is also about freedom in the small things- like hamburger buns, sparklers, and sweet tea on the porch.

Thanks for celebrating both.

FabTheMayor said...

As the mother of a soldier who has been there, done that...thank you for saying it so beautifully!

mandy said...

enjoying your blog... boomama sent me.
i'm a georgia girl who's been livin' in the Boston area for a year....
any advice on how to survive the "weather shock" up here?
:)
mandy

Grafted Branch @ Restoring the Years said...

A very well spoken sentiment. It will always boil down to the people and the price they pay so that we can have all these things to enjoy.

Slava Bogu said...

Well said. We took often take our freedom for granted and too seldom show appreciation to those responsible for ensuring it continues.

WendyDarling said...

VERY WELL SAID!!! I couldn't agree more. :-)

MB said...

Thanks for this post! I whole-heartedly agree.
-MaryBeth

willblogforshoes said...

Beautiful!

Brenda said...

Last month, we noticed a house down the street was all decked out for Christmas. Then we saw the banner across the front porch that read "Welcome Home, ________." It brought tears to my eyes.

We really are blessed more than we even realize.