The Fourth of July Through My Eyes

What the 4th of July Means to Me

The Fourth of July means many things to me. Freedom, of course. Family. Friends. Our beautiful country. Patriotic music. Picnics and fun.

Freedom Doesn't Come Free

My one year old granddaughter honoring a war hero - her Great Uncle Wayne - whom she has never met...
My one year old granddaughter honoring a war hero - her Great Uncle Wayne - whom she has never met... | Source

Freedom

The 4th of July is first and foremost about freedom. It’s about the freedom of our country. Freedom that soldiers for over two hundred thirty years have fought for – have given their lives for. Freedom that hasn’t, nor ever will, come free. When I think of freedom, I think of being able to say what I want about my government and not go to jail for it. I think about being able to travel about my country from the east to the west and from the north to the south, without being harassed by officials unless I am doing something against our laws. I think about the millions of police officers, fire fighters, and other emergency workers who risk their lives trying to save the lives of others – sometimes of people who don’t want to be saved. I think of children going to school to learn – both boys and girls and children of all races, religions, and colors being in the same classroom, learning together. I think of being able to listen to the music I want to listen to, watch the television I want to and read the books, newspapers and magazines I want to read.

Honoring Our Soldiers At School

Each year we honor our soldiers and their families at a school-wide assembly.
Each year we honor our soldiers and their families at a school-wide assembly. | Source

The Best of the 4th of July

What is your favorite part of the 4th of July?

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Family

When I think of the 4th of July I think of family. Family that I was born into – and family that I have inherited over time. Brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles, cousins, children and grandchildren. Brothers and a sister who came into my life by marrying into our family and sisters who were born into our family. Brothers and sisters and mothers and fathers-in-law that married into our family. My wonderful children who I gave birth to – and the wonderful children I inherited when I married their father. Absolutely wonderful grandchildren that I don’t know how I lived without – yet they have only been in my life for just a short time. Family that, even though has its share of problems – big and small, is still family, no matter what. Family that stick up for one another when they feel they are right – even if they are wrong. Family that is strong and sticks together – even when we are pulling apart at the seams. Family that trusts that no one wants to hurt another family member – but understands that sometimes hurts will come. Family that understands that we all have our tough times, but by sticking together and trying to understand what is going on, we will ALL get stronger. Family that is tough – and strong – and will rise above any trouble that we have.

Our Beautiful Country

A beautiful look at one of the wonderful lakes in our country.
A beautiful look at one of the wonderful lakes in our country. | Source

Forever Friends

My grandsons - cousins and forever friends!
My grandsons - cousins and forever friends! | Source

Friends

When I think of the 4th of July, I think about friends. I think about those friends that have been around longer than some of the family, and have therefore become family. I think of friends that I have just met and can’t wait to share new adventures with. I think of friends that have come and gone in my life – all making some sort of impact on me. Friends that have taught me something about life, love and living. Friends that were there when I needed them and when they needed me and then moved on to another place and time. Friends that have passed away that I will never forget – and those that will never leave my side.

Another View of Our Beautiful America

Misty Mountains...
Misty Mountains... | Source

Patriotic Songs

  • Star Spangled Banner
  • America, the Beautiful
  • This Land is Our Land
  • God Bless The USA
  • Battle Hymn Of The Republic
  • God Bless America
  • The Angry American, Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue
  • Made In America
  • It's America
  • Many, Many, Many more that I am sure you can think of...add some to the comments...I'll put a few more here...

America the Beautiful

I think of our beautiful country when I think of the 4th of July. The mountains, the rivers, the valleys, the plains. I think of the golden wheat fields I pass, the tall corn fields, the fields of beans or tomatoes, or barley or flowers. I think of the people who work daily to make those fields produce the food that goes onto my table. I think of the rangers who keep the mountains and the streams and the National Parks clean and safe for us to use and to enjoy. I think of the tall redwoods, the tall sunflowers, and even the tall skyscrapers – for they all are a part of this wonderful country of ours. I think of the people – the wonderful, caring, loving people that help their friends, family and neighbors when tragedy strikes. Yes, I know that not all people are wonderful – but there are enough wonderful people in this world that sometimes they help us to forget – if only for a brief moment – that the bad guys do exist. I think of the best country in the world to live in – big, glaring faults and all. Because even with those big, glaring faults, there is no better country in the world.

God Bless The USA

Patriotic Songs

I think of the songs for the 4th of July. The Yankee Doodle Dandy. The America, the Beautiful. The Angry American and so many more songs. I think of the writer who sat down while bombs were bursting in the sky above him – who had enough belief in a new country that he wrote words of encouragement for that young country. Words that one day would become our National Anthem. I think of the many men and women who wrote protest songs in each era of our country – writing for what they believed in. Spreading the word of their beliefs – and the beliefs of others throughout the country – through song. I think of songs we were all forced to sing as children – songs we know sing with pride with our hands over our hearts. I think of fun song, of serious songs…all songs with a message for each one of us to listen to – and to interpret. Songs that inspire us to be better people – to be a better country.

Picnics And Fireworks

I think of all of those 4th of July picnics. The ones we share with family, friends and coworkers. The simple picnics with our own little families in our backyards, and those with thousands of our friends in parks and streets and stadiums around our beautiful country. I think of the games we play at those picnics – the sack races, balloon chases, egg rolls, watermelon seed spitting, wheelbarrow running games. Those games that we can’t wait for each 4th of July. I think of all the men and women who cook all of those hamburgers, hot dogs, potato salad and yes, that good ‘ol American Apple Pie! I think of kids with sticky faces with ice cream and cotton candy. I think of peaceful rest under the maple tree or the oak tree…perhaps on a hammock…perhaps on a blanket on the ground. I think of evening fireworks that remind of us of our war torn history. Fireworks that celebrate all of freedoms with their resounding booms and colorful sparkles.

When I think of the Fourth of July, I think of all of these things – and so much more. The Fourth of July is a reminder to all of us that we are together in this country of ours – for better or for worse. We don’t have to like everything about this wonderful country of ours, but we must protect this country with every fiber of our beings. We have to protect our rights to be unhappy with our country. We have to stand up against those that think they are tough for those who are weaker than we are. This is America. There ain’t nothin’ better than that….

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11 comments

billybuc profile image

billybuc 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

Wonderful thoughts LaDena. Thank you for sharing them with us and Happy 4th of July to you and yours.

bill


justateacher profile image

justateacher 3 years ago from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz... Author

Bill...thanks for reading! Happy 4th to you and yours, as well!


rebeccamealey profile image

rebeccamealey 3 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

Well said, beautiful words and great photos. I love the mountain one. Happy 4th !


justateacher profile image

justateacher 3 years ago from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz... Author

rebecca - thanks for reading! The" mountains" are near Branson, Missouri and are more just tall hills!! lol But, I think they are beautiful!


peachpurple profile image

peachpurple 3 years ago from Home Sweet Home

it is great to read many hubs of fellow US people who still remembers the past and long forgotten people who fought for the war. However, our country don't. We celebrate with parades, don't see anyone visiting graveyard or remembering the past soldiers at all. Wonderful and touching hub


justateacher profile image

justateacher 3 years ago from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz... Author

peachpurple - thanks for reading! I think this holiday means so much to me because so many of my family have served in the military...and they have made sure that this was a military holiday for us...


always exploring profile image

always exploring 3 years ago from Southern Illinois

I agree. I love this country. I hope we never forget the ones who gave their all for freedom. America the beautiful..Wonderful hub. Thank you...


teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 3 years ago

I loved your list of songs, but your thoughts on what makes the Fourth so wonderful is what really brings out your post. I love the picnics, the family time and the love of country. Thanks for the reminder.


justateacher profile image

justateacher 3 years ago from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz... Author

always exploring...thanks for reading...I hope we never forget, as well!


justateacher profile image

justateacher 3 years ago from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz... Author

teaches - thanks for reading! I'm glad you liked my thoughts!


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 3 years ago from Shelton

I dont know how I missed this.. but still glad I caught it..voted awesome :)

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