Happy Birthday America!

firecrackerIn preparing for this week’s National Birthday Party, I began to think about two things. One was an idea my daughter Beth raised, “wonder if we could find an old-time ice-cream churn?”

You remember the kind? Wooden hand crank, packed in ice and rock salt? You put a towel over the ice and convince the youngest member of the family to sit on the churn while you crank and reflect on how good this is going to taste.

I am sure the churn is still available, certainly through the internet. I believe I am going to try that this week. The only real question for me is strawberry or chocolate and can I get Beth, now 30, to sit on it while I churn?

My second thought was to ask what does the 4th of July really means to me and each of us.

I found a survey on the PBS.org website asking this very question: “What July 4th means to you.” Of all the comments collected, some of the most common responses were: pride in America’s founding, celebrating diversity, America’s birthday, and defending freedom.1

For me I think I might add, the gathering of friends and family, parades, and our troops and the sacrifices they and their families make.

As I have grown older, I’ve thought of how really great this country is, with its freedoms it provides all of us. This has become a beacon for me. The ability to be successful based upon hard work, dedication, sacrifice, and a little luck is what makes us so fortunate. The understanding of how lucky we really are to live in the United States and how smart and wise our founding fathers were is clear. I find myself giving thanks and wanting to protect the sound principles that our founding fathers consider to be basic fundamental rights: Free speech, limited government, the pursuit of happiness and success. All are foundational blocks we should protect. I recognize the importance us all to try to live as close as we can to the golden rule and to help our fellow man whenever we can.

So many things are trying to tear this country’s strengths apart. We should all take time this week to reflect on the sacrifice so many before us have made and commit to standing up and protecting the rights as drawn out by the founding fathers. We should all stop and think on what has made this country so great and dedicate ourselves to pass that on to the next generation.

Enjoy this week with friends and family. Participate in a parade, eat some ice cream, BUT take time enough to appreciate this country’s great values and then give thanks. She deserves it!

Happy Birthday America!


1 www.pbs.org/capitolfourth/tellus.html. Patriotic Reflections: What July 4th Means to You.

The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.