What do you make of the Fourth of July — the Christmas Day of our nation, the one which separated us from Mother England, one which our forefathers wrested with pain and blood? Do you think of a near-starving, raggedly-clad patriot at Valley Forge? Perhaps a Union conscript rushing to overtake a line filled with Confederates, themselves fighting for a heritage doomed to be trampled by Freedom’s progress? The doughboy ready to rise from a mud-filled trench, running headlong toward the latest weapons and led by generals fighting the last war? Or a terrified boy of 19 about to leap into the waves off Normandy to assault Fortress Europe and evil’s hold on the soul of humankind? Maybe you see the confused son of a WWII veteran trudging through a rice paddy in the Mekong Delta, wondering what the hell he is doing there? Or the courageous post-9/11 volunteer looking to live another day as the ancient tribal madness of Afghanistan descends upon him and his buddies hoping to go home? It’s Independence Day not Memorial Day, I know. But the Freedom we proclaimed 240 years ago is preserved by those who take to arms when called. Let us always make sure that their call merits the sacrifice they have been asked to surrender. Let each of us be sure before we send the flower of our youth to defend our freedom. Nothing more is worth their sacrifice. Have a Sacred Fourth.
© 2016 John Hofmeister. Illustration by formerfactory
When I'm not writing for clients, I write about things that interest me.