Proud to be free

Independence Day brings a song to my thought and an image of my dad singing along. It brings tears to my eyes, because as much as my father had his crazy differences with the world and sometimes the government, that man was patriotic, and he loved his country.

Every Fourth of July we would get together as a family and usually go to the local reservoir, have a picnic, or BBQ, play games outside and wait for it to get dark to watch the fireworks. I never got into the thrill of fireworks. While I have seen some amazing firework displays in Michigan, Boston, and Hawaii, I never got crazy excited about them. I mean, as a little kid, sparklers scared me. I always felt my hand was going to catch on fire.

I digress. The song that makes me think of my dad. It is not America the Beautiful, or the National Anthem that reminds me of Independence Day, it is Lee Greenwood’s “Proud to be an American.” I can picture the emotion in my dad’s face whenever that song came on the radio, so much so that when I hear it I cannot control the tears that come to my eyes. It makes me proud to know that his emotion was shared with me.

Whether you are watching fireworks on the Charles River Esplanade while listening to the Boston Pops, or are on a boat on a lake in the middle of our country, at the Capitol lawn in Washington, D.C. or camping at one of our national parks on Thursday, or comfortable at home on your patio, I hope you take a moment to   enjoy your family, friends, and be grateful to all the men and women who have fought and defended our country and given us incredible freedoms.

Take a moment to think about all the ways you are free.

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