Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Happy 4th of July!

I know, this post is early, but I LOVE LOVE LOVE this holiday, so I'm sure I'll have lots of pictures to post on the 4th.
I love everything about the 4th of July. I love waking up in the morning and waiting over 2 hours, just so I can have my spot for the parade. I love the military presenting the flag and watching as the crowd stands in a wave, placing their hand over their hearts. I love watching my kids excitement in catching the candy being thrown. I love running into old friends, that have come home for the holiday. I love being with my family, having a BBQ and spending the day laughing. I love watching all the men in the family turn into children, when they get a chance to light off the fireworks. I love laying on my old high school's lawn, cuddled with my kids in a blanket, underneath a sky blanketed with the annual fireworks show. I love carrying my exhausted children to their beds, sticky with melted popsicles, still clutching their glow-in-the-dark necklaces.
This year, my eyes saw things a little differently, as I discussed the holiday with a very good friend of mine, who is in the military. He does not share my enthusiasm of this holiday, much to my disappointment. Unfortunately, all year, he is forced to deal with the freaking retards "less informed" people of society, that do nothing but criticize his career. The people that do not show respect for the flag, or his uniform. The people that protest the war. The people that can do all those things...because of his sacrifices.
He feels, as he rightly should, that Americans should be patriotic all year, not just on this one day. While I completely agree, I tried to gently remind him that humans, are but mere humans, and sometimes it takes a reminder for us to not take everything we have, for granted.
While I love the 4th of July and it really is my day to honor the men and women that sacrifice for me, there is a lot that I do all year. There are many ways that I remember, that maybe isn't as obvious as the flags I hang up. I remember every time I see a fallen service hero on TV and say a prayer for his family. I remember every time I properly salute the flag and teach my children to do the same. I remember every time I say the "Pledge of Allegiance" and giggle as my 3 year old struggles over the words. I remember every time I see someone in their military uniform and point them out to my children to explain why they are so important. I remember every time my grandfather talks about his service time and I sit in amazement at his stories. (Yes, Pepe, I truly love your stories!) I remember every time a see a serviceman with his family and look at his wife and recognize her courage. I remember when I see his children and my heart cries for them, knowing that too many hours, days and months are spent apart from their parent.
So, in closing, THANK YOU, to the men (and women, of course!) that have given their lives to our country. THANK YOU to the service of prior generations...Pepe, Uncle David and Uncle Paul, this means you! THANK YOU to the men currently serving our country.
My friend, know that I love you and appreciate all that you do. Recognize all the many ways that I show it through out the year and focus less on those people, that speak without thinking. These people do not make up the majority of Americans. If you looked around, you would realize there are far more "me" than "them." So, Happy 4th of July. Again, THANK YOU for what you do every day. I know the sacrifices you make and I will forever be grateful for them.


Jennifer said...

Great post Leanne!!

Jen said...

What a moving post Leeann. Thank you!

Amy said...

THank you for sharing that. Its great to have a reminder for those of us who are human! I really love this holiday too. I'm pretty sure its my favorite. I love everything you said about it, its great! I have to admit though, I also love that everything on the 4th of July; parade, fireworks, etc are relatively cheap!!! yay for inexpensive, relaxing holidays!

Tammy said...

Great post. I also think that we as citizens need to VOTE!!!! That is one way of showing our thanks to those who valiantly fought for us to be able to continue to have that right. There are people in this world who have never voted because they can't vote not because they choose not to. Great job....

Mamarazzi said...

AWESOME post chickie!! made me tear up...i love the holiday for all those reasons too...especially as a chance to celebrate the men and women who fight for this country, so i don't have to. they are heroes!! for sure!

i tagged you over on my blog. i hope you play it seems like something you would do because you are so cool like that!

tinabean1988 said...

I love this holiday also it's such a good family holiday.
I loved your very touching & heartfelt words also.
THank you!

mom said...

Beautiful Leeann, just beautiful. Nicely put.

Sniz said...

Thank you for writing this and saying it so eloquently, Leeann. I LOVE this entry. You're so right about the retards that protest the war and do not show respect to the soldiers.

I love the fourth of July too.