There are a lot of things that symbolize freedom, especially here in the United States: the flag, bald eagles, the statue of liberty, soldiers, fireworks, a BBQ, family, flowers at cemeteries...the list goes on and on.
I only have a few ties to the military on my side of the family. My husband has three brothers and one brother-in-law who have served or are still serving.
I honestly have no idea what it feels like to pick up a weapon in defense of my freedom. Someone has already done that for me. And I am deeply grateful for those men and women. I am indebted to them in a way that I cannot fully understand. Maybe in the next life I will have the chance to comprehend it, and thank them.
One 4th of July tradition I have is to watch the movie Independence Day.
Don't make fun, I love that movie. It's funny, there's some disaster porn in there, the characters are awesome and the action is great. The part that gets me teary every, single time I watch it is when the President of the United States gives his speech just before the final battle against the aliens.
Over 200 years ago, a tyrannical government pushed hard enough to unite people who were willing to sacrifice everything they had to come to this land. Then they had to fight to keep it free from restrictions on what they described as their inalienable rights.
Our world is tilting dangerously, and parts of it may crumble soon. My hope has always been that we can find a cause bigger than ourselves-find something that can help us rise above our petty disputes and work together toward a better tomorrow.
That's what our forefather's did. It wasn't easy. Many lost their lives or the lives of those they loved most, but they didn't give up, because they knew what kind of a world they wanted their children to live in.
In Independence Day, the characters simply wanted a world where their children could be born. Today we need to take a step back and think about the world we will leave to our children, and I'm not just talking about "green", but also society. Are we kind? Are we tolerant? Are we willing to allow someone a difference of opinion from our own without criticizing them or lashing out? Can we rise above our past mistakes and move forward? Can we put away our pride and focus on compassion?
I don't know the answer, but those were my thoughts as I was watching the movie and pondering those that came before me. What are your thoughts?