Freedom: Remember What We Celebrate

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By Jeanne Takenaka

As we prepare to celebrate our country’s independence later this week, it’s good to remember what we’re celebrating.

We’re not (or shouldn’t be) celebrating the latest sale at Macy’s and the great deals we’ll get if we shop on July 4th weekend. Although, we’re certainly free to do that if we so desire.

We’re not celebrating fireworks, though they do raise up a sense of patriotism—of victory—within most of us. They remind us of the importance of family and of our history.

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We’re not celebrating hamburgers and hotdogs and barbecues in the backyard. Though July 4th is a great time to connect with family and friends.

We’re celebrating our nation’s freedom and the unique country our forefathers fought so hard to create.

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Regardless of where people stand in terms of God, most will acknowledge the United States is a blessed nation. We have the freedom to practice religion as we desire. We’re gifted with the freedom to share what’s on our minds, even if it goes against what our nation’s leaders espouse. We have the freedom to travel within our country without passports and without fear of being stopped and searched for no reason

We take for granted many freedoms people in other parts of the world only dream of.

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These freedoms aren’t just passed down. Ronald Reagan was right when he said that each generation must fight for and protect them. Our country has fought many wars since its inception, in order to protect the tenets of the Declaration of Independence and the freedoms it ensures.

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The Revolutionary War

The War of 1812

The Civil War

World Wars One and Two

The Korean War

The Viet Nam War

And the wars we’ve fought over the last twenty years

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The men and women who serve our country in the Armed Forces and as contractors with the military are on the front lines protecting the freedoms we live out.

My hope is that as people shop, watch parades, spend time with family and friends and ooooh over fireworks, they won’t forget what we’re really celebrating on Independence Day. And those who make it possible.

What about you? Do you have any July 4th traditions? What comes to mind when you think of Independence Day?

 

 

 

 

 

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9 thoughts on “Freedom: Remember What We Celebrate

  1. I had to comment here – please forgive me if I’m not coherent. I’m very ill now.

    First, thank you for remembering the contractors. We fought with the same motivation, and were often derided as mercenaries. We went where government policy could not go. We cared then, and care now.

    I love the fireworks and public displays of patriotism, but it makes me uncomfortable at times, for I remember the words of Siegfried Sassoon…

    You smug-faced crowds with kindling eye
    Who cheer when soldier lads march by,
    Sneak home and pray you’ll never know
    The hell where youth and laughter go.

    Those who fought bought a freedom and comfort that should be cherished, not only on July 4th, but on every election day. We may not have the candidates we’d prefer, but we owe it to the dead to make a choice. Standing in line for the ballot box is a privilege, bought with things a noncombatant can never comprehend. If you’re n Evangelical and are forced to choose between an Muslim and a Hindu candidate…choose! Make an informed choice, and in that small way validate a millisecond of squalor and agony in a place you probably couldn’t find on a map.

    I am out of energy, and I am done…please excuse the awkward tone. This means a lot to me.

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    • Andrew, thank you for sharing from your heart. And for the exhortation to choose. We do have a privilege in being allowed to vote, and too often we take it for granted. I loved this line: “We may not have the candidates we’d prefer, but we owe it to the dead to make a choice.”

      Thank you so much for taking time and energy to comment. You always enhance the conversation. I’m praying for you.

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  2. Our nation is founded as a nation under God! We have always been and will always be a Christian nation. Because of this, all religions are free to worship here so long as they do not go against the constitution. Because of our reliance on God, we have become a great nation. If we begin to worship other gods and condone sin as ok, we will reap the same results as God’s other people, Israel, did in the Old Testament. Let us celebrate who we truly are and let us lift up all those who have put and are putting their life on the line to keep us a great nation!
    Andrew, I too am praying for you. Know you are being lifted up

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  3. What a great post Jeanne! And nice comments by Andrew and Mary.

    We all need to pray for our country now to keep our freedom. I don’t think our founding fathers would be pleased with some of the things taking place in our country now.

    Andrew, I hope you feel better soon.
    Happy 4th of July everybody. I’ll celebrate at our small town parade and then host a family/friends cookout.

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    • You’re right, Jackie. I have not been as diligent in prayer as I should be on our country’s behalf. Thanks for the reminder.

      Your Fourth celebration sounds like fun. I hope you enjoy!

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