As you enjoy what traditionally is considered the midpoint of summertime – the back-to-school sales start very soon, and footballs already are flying in all-star games – try to remember what the freedom of living in the United States of America means.
It means that we elect our presidents and leaders without coercion, without taking to the streets. It means when we are dissatisfied with them, we replace them in the election cycle.
It means that we work together from a thousand viewpoints, or at least historically we’ve been able to do that, since the founding of the country on July 4, 1776.
It means you have the ability to become whatever you want, so long as you have the will, the ability, the courage and the stamina to follow through on your dreams instead of waiting for the government to provide them.
The long weekend we’re enjoying thanks to Independence Day falling on a Thursday this year means there is a lot of opportunity to enjoy friends and family, sports and community fireworks.
It also means there is time to be thankful to the troops stationed all around the nation and world who defend that freedom from physical attack.
It means there is time to reflect on the work of firefighters and police officers and emergency medical responders, who also stand in the line of defense of our very lives and make our communities safer, freer places to live.
It means that we should take a little time to reflect on what works in our nation, and there still is plenty despite the dramatic battles and changes that are taking place.
There are still plenty of community fireworks displays taking place this weekend, including big ones in Weirton and Toronto. Go and enjoy them.
And remember to feel the freedom.