Let freedom ring this 4th of July

Thursday, July 4, 2024


Because we always gather, it’s easy to take for granted all the good memories made every 4th of July holiday. From afternoon neighborhood family pitch-in picnics to fireworks launched from the glistening Lake Wawasee waters under the cover of night, Hoosiers know how to celebrate.

It’s what and why we celebrate that often comes and goes without a second thought.

Last month, my wife and I had the honor and privilege of a lifetime to commemorate the 80th D-Day Reunion with almost 200 WWII veterans, mostly all over 100 years young. As we gazed up to them in perfect formation on stage, we marveled at their triumph over human nature storming those beaches and we were overcome with a moving sense of gratitude and visually reminded that our freedom has never been free.

Yet, it doesn’t take traveling to Normandy, France to be reminded of the high cost. From the birth of our nation, men like Lafayette left France and sailed here to the New World to join our founders in breaking free from a monarch’s rule.

Ever since that world history-changing year in 1776, it’s taken waves of brave men and women to preserve and protect our Made in America fountain of liberty. Even still, since we became a state, Hoosiers have always sent more than our fair share into harm’s way to defend our way of life. From the Civil War to the Spanish-American War to both World Wars to Korea to Vietnam to the wars against terrorism in the Middle East, Hoosiers have stood up and got shot down with some sadly never coming home.

General John J. Pershing had it right when he said, “Time will not dim the glory of their deeds”, nor will it diminish the contributions made by those who by the grace of God came home.

Knowing they did their duty, the question remains, “Will we do our part and honor them by coming together constructively in good faith and working to form a more perfect union, especially as we fast approach our 250th fragile year as a nation on July 4, 2026″?

So, as we rightly celebrate the best nation on planet earth by lighting a bottle rocket, or Roman Candle, or floating on a boat watching your hometown’s annual fireworks show, let us count our blessings and remember, America’s freedom rings true, only because of what we do.

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