[July 4, 2019] I like cake. I like it so much that my wife decided to get me a special 4th of July cake decorated to look like a U.S. flag. This is just one of those eternal symbols of my life here on Earth. Another is I’m a patriot. Like so many hundreds of men and women I know, we are the ones who are willing to stand up and put our lives on the line for the freedoms many peoples around the world enjoy. Happy July 4th.
As I post this article, I’ll quickly head to the door and walk to the starting point of our local, small-town parade. Our veterans club will be at the head of the parade; good for us, the parade lasts about an hour. I’m proud to say that we have ten WWII veterans who are current members. This is why my wife and I retired to a small town. If you know the police chief, mayor, and chamber of commerce by their first names; you likely live in a small town.
I recently had the pleasure to read the book, Our Towns: A 100,000-Mile Journey into the Heart of America (2018) by James and Deborah Fallows. Good book! It’s a positive portrait of the reinvention taking place in small towns across the U.S. and generally out of view of the national media. Like so many towns throughout the world, you will find the best parts of life represented here. Towns like Mer Rouge, Louisiana (where I grew up in the 1950s), Siegelsbach, Germany (where I was first stationed in 1975), and Smithville, New Jersey (close to where I now live) represent the best in all of us.
July 4th is a time of celebration. It matters not where you live; this country or another or your beliefs. This is the time of year that anyone who loves freedom should celebrate the freedom they have. Contrary to the beliefs of some, freedom is not an easy road to travel. It requires strong men and women to oversee the federal system of government. Our Constitution and our values are what guide us. I’m happy we have them.
I’m giving a special shout out to the flag of the United States and especially to one of our first flags; the Betsy Ross flag. Don’t let the naysayers get you down. We stand for the best in all people. Nothing will change that. Happy Fourth of July. Come over and celebrate our Independence Day.