The 4th of July always seems to evoke powerful feelings and memories. We can’t help but feel blessed and thankful to live in this glorious country. Our AAHAM members have varied family roots. Some of our families have been in the U.S. for generations and some are newer arrivals. Although the journeys have been varied, in almost every case, the underlying reasons are the same; a yearning for freedom and the possibility of a better life.
I’m especially appreciative of all the former service members among us or who are in our members’ families as well as any who are currently serving in our Armed Forces. It seems inadequate to say “Thank you for your service,” but please know that this simple expression carries a most heartfelt sentiment.
For many of us, in addition to stirring patriotic feelings, Independence Day brings vivid memories of our youth. Some of us recall spending the day at the beach, brushing sand off our towels and ignoring sunburned shoulders and noses. Others remember converging at a neighbor’s backyard pool for a barbecue, playing in the water until fingers and toes were soft and wrinkly. Still others reminisce about searching for the perfect spot to pitch a tent for a family camp out. In almost every case, the hardest part of the day was waiting until dusk to light sparklers and fireworks.
July 4th celebrations have gotten bigger today. The pyrotechnics are elaborate and synchronized to music. It’s a fun, multi-sensory experience that suits the importance of the occasion. But the core idea remains unchanged; we are proud of this nation we call home. We wish her Happy Birthday and we pray for her continued strength.