Independence Day is time to remember to be thankful for freedoms and country

Happy Independence Day! This week, we have celebrated our nation’s birth by watching parades, seeing fireworks, and visiting with friends and family at picnics.

We can be patriotic by waving our flags, singing our national anthem, and supporting our Constitution.

Sometimes the events that we see on the news or experience in our lives can cause us to forget that despite our country’s troubles, we still live in a great nation. Just as each individual has problems, struggles, and weaknesses, so does each nation. Our government is made up of individuals with problems, struggles, and weaknesses. Political parties and government agencies have corruption. Corruption can be found in our law enforcement, in our clubs, in our churches, in our financial institutions, in our businesses, everywhere.

Certainly, we want the corruption to stop. It never does though. Where one problem is solved, another crops up. Just as there may be a perverted priest on the news doesn’t make all priests and ministers sexual predators. Just as there may be a dishonest banker doesn’t make all bankers dishonest. Yes, there are abusive police, abusive parents, abusive spouses, abusive politicians, but that doesn’t make all police, parents, spouses, and lawmakers wrong. There are bad apples. We have to be alert, but we don’t need to lump them all together.

The problem is sinful people in a sinful world full of death, sickness, pain, and tears. We each can do our part to make the world a better place. We can stick up for others without contributing to the problem.

I am thankful for our freedoms that we have in our great nation, the United States of America. We have room for improvement, yes, but we also do some things better than others. We mustn’t forget what we do right. Others can learn from us, and we can learn from others.

Our basic freedoms include the freedom of speech and the press, the freedom of religion, the right to assembly, the right to appeal to the government for action, the right to bear arms, the right to privacy in our homes, the right to a trial by a jury, and the right to vote, to name some. The Constitution isn’t very long and is available for people to read. There are people who are trying to distort our freedoms, so read the Constitution yourself to know what it really says.

I am thankful for our troops who defend these freedoms for us. They experience tough situations, endure separation from loved ones, and are under extreme stress at times so that we don’t have to be. Respect them for their sacrifice.

We can’t take these freedoms or people for granted. Our freedoms could easily slip away if we aren’t vigilant. Our troops are precious people whom we need to value just as much as we value the other important people in our lives.

I am proud to be an American. I want to support our troops and support the United States of America.

So thank you to those who serve. Thank you, elected officials. Thank you, police, fire fighters, EMTs, paramedics, and those who watch out to protect us or help us in crisis. Thank you, God, for this great nation. Happy 242nd birthday, U.S.A. God bless America! God bless you, humble citizen. I hope you had a wonderful holiday.

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