Happy 4th of July!

 

Have a safe and happy Independence Day.  Remember the cost…

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Especially prayerful for those who lost love ones in the fire in Prescott, AZ and praying all will stay safe fighting fires this season.  Particularly my brother Beau.

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Friday Photo Journal

 

and

  Little by Little   Thursday Favorite Things

What a blast!

We all had a wonderful 4th of July, celebrating with our family.  The kids blew up things all day and could hardly wait until evening to light off the “big” fireworks!  We had a wonderful barbecue and time spent together.  Markus even took the entire day off!  Which is a  very rare occurrence in this household.

Waiting for the sun to go down

Almost there!

Then the first firework of the evening, in the setting sun no-less…

Here they come!

Big boom!

The kids watching.

Another big boom.

Black Cats at night.

And always in the back of our minds…

Remembering that we are allowed to have a happy and fun filled 4th because of the sacrifices others have made…

 
Ed in Vietnam

 

FREEDOM IS NOT FREE

I watched the flag pass by one day,
It fluttered in the breeze;
A young Marine saluted it,
And then he stood at ease.

I looked at him in uniform,
So young, so tall, so proud;
With hair cut square and eyes alert,
He’d stand out in any crowd.

I thought… how many men like him
Had fallen through the years?
How many died on foreign soil?
How many mothers’ tears?

How many pilots’ planes shot down
How many died at sea
How many foxholes were soldiers’ graves
No, Freedom is not Free.

I heard the sound of Taps one night,
When everything was still;
I listened to the bugler play,
And felt a sudden chill;

I wondered just how many times
That Taps had meant “Amen”
When a flag had draped a coffin
Of a brother or a friend;

I thought of all the children,
Of the mothers and the wives,
Of fathers, sons and husbands.
With interrupted lives.

I thought about a graveyard
At the bottom of the sea,
Of unmarked graves in Arlington.
No. Freedom is not Free!

©Copyright 1981 by Kelly Strong

Wishing you a Happy Fourth of July!

My Country ‘Tis of Thee

Happy 4th of July!

On this Independence Day weekend my thoughts turn again to the freedom bought in blood by my countrymen.  I am the beneficiary of past and present patriotism, men and women who valued freedom enough to lay down their lives to insure theirs and future generations would be free.  I think of those who courageously declared for themselves and a fledgling nation our independence by signing their names and pledging their lives and property to the cause of freedom.  I think of those who left to fight on foreign shores and never returned…I think of their families.  Families that have felt the cost of our freedom more acutely than I.  I think of those who upon surviving the battle  carry wounds of  body and the heart.  Those in private anguish that I could never understand.  These are heavy thoughts but essential thoughts. I will never appreciate fully the value of freedom until I understand the cost.  I have never served my country as a soldier and I may never be asked to lay down my life for the cause of liberty but God help me to value it as I should and grant me the courage that I too will stand for the cause of freedom on these shores and abroad.  I have, by the gracious providence of God, been born as a free American son.  By His graciousness and the Cross of Christ, I’ve been reborn as a child of God.  God help me to squander neither Liberty purchased by blood not my own.

My country tis of thee,
Sweet land of liberty,
Of thee I sing.
Land where my fathers died!
Land of the Pilgrim’s pride!
From every mountain side,
Let freedom ring!

My native country, thee,
Land of the noble free,
Thy name I love.
I love thy rocks and rills,
Thy woods and templed hills;
My heart with rapture fills
Like that above.

Let music swell the breeze,
And ring from all the trees
Sweet freedom’s song.
Let mortal tongues awake;
Let all that breathe partake;
Let rocks their silence break,
The sound prolong.

Our father’s God to, Thee,
Author of liberty,
To Thee we sing.
Long may our land be bright
With freedom’s holy light;
Protect us by Thy might,
Great God, our King!

Happy 4th

Remembering that we are allowed to have a happy and fun filled 4th because of the sacrifices others have made…

 
Ed in Vietnam

 

FREEDOM IS NOT FREE

I watched the flag pass by one day,
It fluttered in the breeze;
A young Marine saluted it,
And then he stood at ease.

I looked at him in uniform,
So young, so tall, so proud;
With hair cut square and eyes alert,
He’d stand out in any crowd.

I thought… how many men like him
Had fallen through the years?
How many died on foreign soil?
How many mothers’ tears?

How many pilots’ planes shot down
How many died at sea
How many foxholes were soldiers’ graves
No, Freedom is not Free.

I heard the sound of Taps one night,
When everything was still;
I listened to the bugler play,
And felt a sudden chill;

I wondered just how many times
That Taps had meant “Amen”
When a flag had draped a coffin
Of a brother or a friend;

I thought of all the children,
Of the mothers and the wives,
Of fathers, sons and husbands.
With interrupted lives.

I thought about a graveyard
At the bottom of the sea,
Of unmarked graves in Arlington.
No. Freedom is not Free!

©Copyright 1981 by Kelly Strong

 

Wishing you a Happy Fourth of July!