On this very special day I feel that it is time to remember just what the day means and how we came to have the time. With the long weekend we tend to think of extra days off, family gatherings, outdoor fun, food, drink and all sorts of special activities. Even with the fireworks shows that some of us attend and others set off for themselves, I think that we seldom really pause to grasp exactly what we have and how we attained it. I often find myself a bit nostalgic when I have time alone on days such as this and as a student of history my mind wanders back to imagine what it must have been like for those who truly changed the course of our nation by defending her, by exploring new frontiers, and in so many other ways. I also think back to my own military experience in the cold war years when we went out to patrol the seas and keep the Russian bear at bay. Being young, bold and daring, we never really gave much thought to any risks we might have taken but were a cocky bunch who knew that we would win any confrontation with one of their ships or even the entire Russian fleet if need be. I now realize the reason that we don't send old men to war as we think far too much!
I take great pride in my Navy service and sometimes even long for those days at sea and the comradery that they brought and the bravado that all of us so strongly felt and believed. We didn't think that we are the best, we knew that we were! Later in life I discovered that it is much easier to go into harm's way than it is to watch your son do so. I am very proud to say that all three of my sons served in the US Army and fortunate as well since the Army also paid for each of them to get a college degree leading to the careers that they now have. Our youngest gave me the most gray or missing hair as he spent some 24 years as a medic with the Army and has two combat tours and a Combat Medic award to show for his experience. Most of all, I am proud that they have been a part of our family tradition of military service and of patriotic support of our country, even to political involvement in setting the course of our country's future.
Let us never forget that voting and political activity is not a right in this country but it is a responsibility of citizenship!