Is there anything better than a warm Fourth of July? A dip in a pool or lake. Finding the perfect spot on the beach or in the local park. A spontaneous game of horseshoes or corn hole. Concerts and fireworks in small towns from coast to coast. The anticipation as dusk falls and the sparklers come out. The magic of summer in the air.
Fourth of July cookouts and potlucks are, hands down, the best of the best. The deviled eggs, corn on the cob, fresh strawberries and watermelon, and always something special from the family Cool Whip dessert maestro. The burgers, the dogs, the smoked ribs. Messy and delicious and glorious.
Everyone seems to come out of their homes (and their shells) a bit more on the Fourth. Time slows down as the lawn chairs and blankets and coolers are laid out. We look at our phones a bit less and people a bit more.
There is something about the promise of our Declaration of Independence, and new beginnings that resonates with us, even today. “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
It is inspiring that we get to see in others what drives so many of us to serve, the belief in that promise. All of America is decked out in red, white and blue, and we are reminded that there is more that unites us than divides us. With every salute, parade, and patriotic song, we are reminded that this gift of freedom, this experiment of democracy, is so dear to us that even to this day, young men and women dedicate their lives to protect it.
Even though it seems this time of year brings a new round of potential threats and calls to be aware of the dangers in the world, we pause to think about what would have happened had 56 men let their fear override their belief in the future of a free and independent state. We have been through worse as a nation, and have endured. We will continue to do so. Are we perfect? No. But the promise and the unity give us the hope. Hope will defeat fear every time.
As the day ends, darkness falls and the first starburst explodes in the sky, we can reflect on the time together, away from work and troubles, and remember that America is still a strong nation. And, thanks to the legacy of those who declared our independence, those who died for it, and those who continue to protect it today…we are free.
The Team at Operation Homefront wish everyone a safe and happy Fourth of July!