I snapped this photo a few years back while in my hometown during another holiday, Christmas. Notice the two Napoleon 12-pounder cannons from the Civil War days surrounding our flag. Screven County has kept them in excellent shape, and as a tribute--I suppose--to the sadness of war. (And yes, Sherman marched through, but no, he didn't burn the town to the ground.)
War is that thing we fight when we stand on opposing sides. When we desire to be heard above all the other voices shouting into the fray.
When we request our freedom and are denied.
I cannot help but wonder how many Americans really understand the price paid for the freedoms we now experience. Or why it was so important in the first place. We take the day off from work, we roast our hot dogs and grill our burgers, we drink our sodas and beer, we cruise lazily up and down the river, and watch fireworks displayed in the blue-black sky after 9:00. But do we really understand the price?
Do we have so much as a clue?
I'd rather think not ...
So take a moment this holiday and read a little about the war that led to this day. Read articles, like the one by Cynthia Howerter about Washington's daring last move. Or watch a documentary on the Revolutionary War.
Yes, yes. Enjoy your day off and your fireworks, but stop long enough to thank the men (and women) who paid the ultimate price for your right to do so.