What we celebrate with picnics, apple pie, and fireworks--the colonials gave their lives for. If you love history as I do, you know the horrific fight the early Americans endured so that we could swim in freedom. As you relax around your pools on this hot summer day, just breathe a word of thanks to those who not only gave their lives, but the lives of their families as well. These gallant men who fought with General George Washington, lost battle after battle in unbelievable conditions. Discouraged and disheartened, thousands of men, women and children fought and died to give us the freedoms many of us take for granted.
I do love this holiday. It's summertime at its best. Parades, the grand old flag flying high above the local high school band marching down Main Street, tractors pulling homemade floats, ice cream cones and watermelon. It's a day off work. A day to relax with sparklers for the kids, and a cold beer on the lawn. Baseball, a firey hot sun, and running through the sprinkler. We seem to have become so distanced from the reason we celebrate the 4th, that I wonder if we had the choice would American History be an optional course in our school systems?
Fortunately, American History remains mandatory in our schools. But most of us memorize enough of it just to pass the course, seldom pondering the extreme sacrifices made for us to celebrate July 4th.
The strategic battles, the brutal hand-to-hand combat, and the children that were slaughtered in the process makes me weep. The starving mass of men that turned the tide of war to eventually knock the British to their knees was nothing less than divine intervention. In my humble opinion. As I study more about the birth of our nation, I'm constantly amazed at the odds against us. Out-numbered, out-maneuvered, and out-smarted in one battle after another, I can't image the heart of General Washington. What was it that moved him forward?
One retreat after another, some men wore rags on their feet in horrific winter conditions. It took six weeks just to get a message across the ocean. There were few roads, faulty guns sent by the French, and food for the army (if you could get them to enlist) consisted of salt pork and flour.
You want to talk about miracles? July 4th is a miracle.
Remember that as you load your plate today with hot dogs and potato salad.
Just for a minute ... think of those colonial fallen families and say thanks.
Then go enjoy your fireworks!
Blessings to you and yours.