Another long holiday weekend is upon us-Independence Day. For most, it means a chance to get out of town and spend some quality time with family and friends. For others, it’s a time of remembrance and celebration. For me, it has always been a chance to let loose and spend some well-deserved time with family and friends. However, this year is a bit different.
My husband works for the government and we now live in a military community. My neighbor just recently had to say goodbye to her husband as he was shipped off to Afghanistan, leaving her to raise two children on her own for at least the next six months. She is a strong woman, but I see the toll it takes on her. So, my family and I do what we can to help out, whether it’s barbecuing together or just checking in to see if she needs anything. I know it’s not enough, but we do what we can. Seeing my neighbor and others in our community experiencing similar situations and hearing stories from the soldiers themselves (including my own husband) has really opened my eyes.
I may not agree with going to war, or even the idea of it, but I do recognize the sacrifice it takes to keep our country safe and for that, I am grateful. Without the sacrifice of our soldiers, past, present and future; our country would not be here today, let alone celebrating our independence. I admire the strength of the men and women in our military and what they believe in. And that…is what Independence Day is to me.
I will continue to spend time with my family and friends, but I will also honor those who put their lives on the line each and every day so that we can have 4th of July parties. Attending barbecues, catching fireflies at night with my children, watching beautiful displays of fireworks and spending time in our new community over this important holiday is even more special now.