WHAT THE FOURTH OF JULY MEANS TO ME
The 4th of July means a lot of different things to me… a time to be grateful to those who sacrificed their freedom, so that I might have mine. A time to pay homage to those who gave their lives as the ultimate price in the name of freedom, and a time to remember those who were scarred and maimed, some physically, all mentally…while fighting for that freedom. It is a time to think about the high cost of this freedom and the fact that FREEDOM IS NOT FREE.
It is a time to take inventory of our elected government officials in this land of the free and home of the brave. And, it is a time to feel sadness and disgust in the inventory results. It is a time to reflect on the fact that we have a president who is a draft dodger with no regard for the men left behind in a war in which his only participation was, in protest against it. It is a time to feel shame as a conscienceless ambassador and a despicable Senator, both of whom are former POW’s…are now selling out their fellow POW/MIA’s left behind in Southeast Asia.
It is a time to feel renewed sorrow for the families of those left behind, and to make a more concerted effort to seek answers for them. It is a time to forget the old adage “nothing is written in stone”, and a time to remember the more than 58,000 names written in stone on The Wall.
Most of all it is a time to remember that… memories are a gift from God, and should be treasured as a lasting legacy. It is a time to remember that memories continue to bring comfort, joy, and healing, and they enable our lost loved ones to live forever in our hearts. It is a time to find renewed hope in activism, in fighting to give purpose to our losses. It is a time to understand that holding on to hope requires active participation and, that hope comes in small steps, and we must seize each one of them. It is a time to give thanks to God for giving us the gifts of memories, hope, and most of all… love.
©Copyright 1998 by Beverly Haire