Both the 4th of July and Veterans Day are of great importance to me. As a very small child, my "older boy" hero, Buddy, went to WWII and returned home after being a prisoner of the Japanese and part of the Bataan Death March. When they sent him home he'd lost both hands and was so destroyed both mentally and physically I didn't, at first recognize him. His family was the neighbors next door and I'd sit on the porch with Buddy daily during his recuperation and became even closer to him than before he'd gone to war -- back when he'd fixed my red wagon and rescued my puppy. Buddy died in his sleep two weeks after returning home and it was the first time in my life I'd lose someone I dearly loved. So for Independence Day and Veteran's Day, all these 70 years later, I not only enjoy the festivities but honor Buddy -- one of many that made it possible for the rest of us to still celebrate those holidays.