I know I know, I had to. ;)
But you were curious so you clicked on it. I'm talking about Freedom and Family, two things we so often take for granted. This past weekend was July 4th, and for us Americans that's a pretty big flipping' deal. We as a nation celebrate our freedom, or independence, from Great Britain's rule. The Declaration of Independence was passed and signed actually 2 days before on the 2nd, but dated July 4th. John Adams wrote to his wife saying "The second day of July, 1776, will be the most memorable epoch in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more."
obv he was jumping the gun so to speak but ya know....same thing. (thanks wikipedia ;) ps- one of my ancestors signed the DOI. William Paca, a few names below John Hancock....cool fact.
However, that's besides the point, it was a great achievement for our nation and I challenge you to not take that freedom for granted. Every day we have men and women giving lives or sacraficing quality of life, time with family, etc just so you and I can sit here and write or say what we want, bear arms, have our kids educated in whatever way we see fit, express religion (well.....don't get me started on that) among other things.
I grew up at Ft. Bragg, so I get to see how this directly effects people's lives. I've seen families devastated by the loss of their husbands in war, or even the wives doubled over in anguish and anxiety after not hearing from their husbands after a mission should've been more than long over. I've cried beside those women, prayed with them, and seen strength grow out of situations like that. These people SACRIFICE on a level that most do not.
And then we expect them to just mesh into society (aka civilian life) like it ain't no big deal. A pretty high demand. So I challenge you to thank a service member today, pray for one, and maybe even send them a little note of thankfulness or encouragement. Also, remember the MIAs and their families, no closure is never good and I can't imagine how hard that would be to know your son or daughter is out there as a POW. Moment of silence.
Ok, now I also challenge you to hold your family tight! We so often speak the harshest words to the people we love the most. Unfortunately those can't be undone or rewound. You can back pedal all you want but I guarantee they'll remember those words or that gesture, or those slick eyes you cut their way this morning on the way to summer camp.
This 4th I decided to celebrate by going to the biggest celebration spot for our country on this holiday.....DC BABY! My broski lives in MD and so Leo and I packed the car (yes he helped), and we headed North after a long days work!
Saturday morning Drew and I woke up late and rested, not to mention Leo. Lazy butt....
We made breakfast together, got dressed and headed for a few errands in IKEA, .....I've never been but oh my gahhhh I sure did wish I was rich! I think my words were "I need a grown up job". LOL!
it's only fun if you play house in Ikea!
Then we were off to the city for an awesome segway tour to see all the monuments and rando buildings we never knew were important. It was so fun! To be able to ride those things and not hit people is quite the challenge, but a fun one at that!
There we were.....the 2 nerdiest mall cops ever, cheesin big
"I'm hungry, you?" I turned to Drew once our excursion was over, and it began to rain. We started walking around the city looking for a place to eat and a homeless guy reached out his hand. Now don't get me wrong, Im compassionate, but I will not give out $ to them only because it could be feeding a habit thats killing them. So instead we feed him food, and listen to his story, because some people just want to be heard. We got to pray for him, name was Keith. and that made me smile, because that was the first time I was able to do something like that with my brother.
Afterwords we walked into an awesome restaurant we were TOTALLY underdressed for with our sandals and day pack, and devoured a 3 course meal of swordfish and other exotic foods we haven't had before, served to us by our mexican waiter named Angel. An-hel is how you pronounce it ;) also, pinky out. pinky out.
Next day= epiceness as we traced the city's national mall (is that an oxymoron? city's national?) any who.... We got to witness the changing of the guards at the tomb of The Unknown Soldier in Arlington, which was chilling.
We visited a few more monuments and statues, and then sank into our tiny cramped grass patch on the lawn on the Lincoln Memorial facing the Washington Monument.
Hands behind our heads, hearing the music in the distance, seeing the twinkles of all the cameras. and then BOOM. It was majestic.
My eyes like a little kids seeing fireworks for the first time, completely enthralled by their gloriousness, their size and power to thump your chest and rearrange your heart beat. yup. Still my favorite holiday, along with Christmas. John Adams would be proud of THIS illumination! Happy Independence Day America! Land of the free because of the brave <3
oh yea, and happy 4th from Leonidas too ;)