Flashback Friday – Independence Day

DSC05822 (2)“Freedom is never free.” — Author Unknown

Hi and Happy Friday!  Hope you have a great 4th of July weekend.  I am looking forward to the time, although it will be raining for much of it.

Here I am pictured with Kirk in our 4th of July finest.  This was taken in Fort Pierce, FL, before Ian was born.  Seems like forever ago.

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERAThe below picture was taken a few years ago of Ian holding the United States flag in front of his face.  It was posted originally for a photo of the day challenge.

I always enjoy our Independence Day celebration — with a cookout, flags waving, patriotic music, and fireworks.  It is a time to enjoy and have fun with family and friends.

I also like to stop and be appreciative of the freedoms our country has.  I feel blessed to have them.  I also like to thank those who have made this freedom possible.  Thanks to our veterans and current servicemen and women.  Because of you, we can live in the land of the free and the home of the brave.

Here are a few quotes about Independence Day and freedom:

  • My patriotic heart beats red, white, and blue. ~ Author Unknown
  • From every mountain side, Let Freedom ring. ~ Samuel F. Smith, “America”
  • You have to love a nation that celebrates its independence every July 4, not with a parade of guns, tanks, and soldiers who file by the White House in a show of strength and muscle, but with family picnics where kids throw Frisbees, the potato salad gets iffy, and the flies die from happiness.  You may think you have overeaten, but it is patriotism. ~ Erma Bombeck
  • Freedom has its life in the hearts, the actions, the spirit of men and so it must be daily earned and refreshed – else like a flower cut from its life-giving roots, it will wither and die. ~ Dwight D. Eisenhower
  • And I’m proud to be an American, where at least I know I’m free. And I won’t forget the men who died, who gave that right to me.~ Lee Greenwood

I wonder if we can truly appreciate our freedoms and live life to the fullest while being kind and loving to others?  I hope and pray that we can!  Hope you have a great weekend.

Happy Veterans Day – 11-11-2014

US.Flags cross_Memorial.DayOn the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, an armistice went into effect and fighting ceased between the Allied Nations and Germany.  World War I was then finished.   It was called the war to end all wars.

Then in November 1919, President Wilson proclaimed November 11 as the first commemoration of Armistice Day with the following words:

“To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations…”

Thus Veterans Day was born.  Happy Veterans Day to all of those amazing and brave men and women who serve our country. I want to say thank you to all of the men and women who have served in uniform or are still serving.  You make it possible for me and my family to live and enjoy our freedoms promised by the U.S. Constitution.  For that, I will always be grateful.

Not only are those being shipped away to be honored, but all the families who are left behind to carry on.  I am in awe of those families who have a member deployed for one year.  That is such a long time and so much happens.  I feel for and pray for those families and hope everyone will return home safely again.

Those in the service certainly know what true sacrifice is.  Some give their lives, others give their health, their bodies, and their time.  May we not take them for granted.

A few quotes for Veterans Day:

  • “In war, there are no unwounded soldiers.”  ~ José Narosky
  • “This nation will remain the land of the free only so long as it is the home of the brave.”  ~ Elmer Davis
  • “As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.”  ~ John Fitzgerald Kennedy
  • “Valor is stability, not of legs and arms, but of courage and the soul.”  ~ Michel de Montaigne
  • “How important it is for us to recognize and celebrate our heroes and she-roes!”  ~ Maya Angelou
  • “Courage is almost a contradiction in terms.  It means a strong desire to live taking the form of readiness to die.”  ~ G.K. Chesterton
  • “Freedom is never free.”  ~ Author Unknown

I wonder if on this Veterans Day, I will truly understand and appreciate all the amazing things that our military men and women do for us?  I plan to do just that and say thank you!

Independence Day

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERA“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, and that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.” July 4, 1776

Aren’t these words great?  I certainly think so.   These amazing words are from the Declaration of Independence.  Some of the men who signed it were John Hancock, Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, and Thomas Jefferson.

Today, many Americans will celebrate with cookouts, trips to the pool or beach, parades, time with family, patriotic music, and fireworks.  It is a fun day with family and friends and great to celebrate the birth of the United States.

In celebration of this land with freedoms unlike many other places, I am reminded to thank those who have made it possible:

  • Thanks to all of the Veterans who have fought in wars for our freedom and country’s protection
  • Thanks to the active servicemen and women who continue to fight for our freedom
  • Thanks to our reservists who are willing to go when duty calls
  • Thanks to the families of our military and all that they sacrifice
  • Thanks to the many who have been seriously injured or died in protection of our country
  • Thanks to the POWs who suffered more than I can imagine in protection of our freedoms
  • Thanks to all who sign up to serve and continue to protect this amazing nation

As the quotes goes, freedom is never free.  The brave men and women of our military and their families know that is true.

FlagsA few quotes about Independence Day:

  • “This nation will remain the land of the free only so long as it is the home of the brave.”  ~Elmer Davis
  • “Freedom has its life in the hearts, the actions, the spirit of men and so it must be daily earned and refreshed – else like a flower cut from its life-giving roots, it will wither and die.”  ~Dwight D. Eisenhower
  • “Those who won our independence believed liberty to be the secret of happiness and courage to be the secret of liberty.” ~Louis D. Brandeis
  • “If our country is worth dying for in time of war let us resolve that it is truly worth living for in time of peace.” ~Hamilton Fish
  • “I love my freedom. I love my America.” ~Jessi Lane Adams
  • “And I’m proud to be an American, where at least I know I’m free. And I won’t forget the men who died, who gave that right to me. And, I’ll gladly stand up next to you to defend her still today. Cause there ain’t no doubt I love this land. God Bless the USA.”  ~Lee Greenwood

May you have a blessed day celebrating our freedom!!!

Happy Memorial Day

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERAHappy Memorial Day!  Today is a day all about bravery and sacrifice.  We celebrate those who gave their lives for our freedoms.  I applaud those men and women who protect me and my family and enable us to enjoy our way of life.

Those killed or injured and the families and friends they leave behind are to be thanked and appreciated for all that they have done. These people are our heroes.

This day is more than just a day off from work or school, more than just a cookout, or the start of summer.  It is a day of valor, patriotism, sacrifice, and true and amazing love.

Thanks so much to all those who have ever served in the military or as a police officer or any capacity of protection.  Because of you, I can live a free life.  That is an amazing gift.

cross_Memorial.DayA few quotes about Memorial Day:

  • “For love of country they accepted death… ” ~James A. Garfield
  • “They fell, but o’er their glorious grave, Floats free the banner of the cause they died to save.”~Francis Marion Crawford
  • “The brave die never, though they sleep in dust: Their courage nerves a thousand living men.”~Minot J. Savage
  • “A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself.”  ~Joseph Campbell
  • “Who kept the faith and fought the fight; The glory theirs, the duty ours.”~Wallace Bruce
  • “Peace to each manly soul that sleepeth; Rest to each faithful eye that weepeth…”~Thomas Moore
  • “And I’m proud to be an American, where at least I know I’m free. And I won’t forget the men who died, who gave that right to me.”~Lee Greenwood

As the saying goes, Freedom is never free. These amazing veterans and those currently serving know that only too well.  May we live lives that are worthy of their sacrifice.

Happy Memorial Day

cross_Memorial.DayThis morning Ian asked me what today is all about.  “Mommy, what is Memorial Day?”  he asked.

I told him that it is a day to remember people who have protected us and our country.

The concept of war is totally foreign to this sweet 5 1/2-year-old, but my husband and I have tried to explain that people have fought for us in order to keep us safe.  And, some have died in the process.

“Okay, Mommy,” he said in response.

Although he doesn’t understand all of this, he does understand death — well as much as someone his age can.

Last night on PBS, the Memorial Day special from Washington, D.C. aired.  Ian watched some of this with us before his bedtime. It was such a moving show.  We only saw part of it, but what we did see was packed with patriotism and honoring our Vets.

We started watching it during the honoring of Korean War vets and the memorial in D.C. to them, then a tribute to Charles Durning who was a great actor and Veteran of World War II.   Hearing his accounts of landing at Normandy and all of his buddies that he lost gave me chills.

He was awarded a Silver Star and several Purple Hearts.  I fondly remember him on the show, “Evening Shade” and several other items, but hadn’t realized his bravery in battle.  Thank you Charles and all other Veterans for all that you have done!!

The special also included songs from each branch of the military.  They celebrated the Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marines, Navy, and National Guard.  Thanks to all of you who have served or are still serving!  You are awesome and so very brave.

As you know too well, war truly is hell.  I want to take today to say thank you to all veterans for enduring hell on earth for our freedoms!  We cannot thank you enough for your love of our country and your sacrifice.

Thanks also to your families for their sacrifices as well.

Today on this first unofficial day of summer, I am going to remember these fine people and all that they have done for me and my family.

I wonder if I can remember that each day?  I sure hope so since freedom is not to be taken for granted.  Also freedom is never free.

Here are a few quotes about Memorial Day:

  • “For love of country they accepted death,”  ~James A. Garfield
  • “They fell, but o’er their glorious grave floats free the banner of the cause they died to save.” ~Francis Marion Crawford
  • “The brave die never, though they sleep in dust: Their courage nerves a thousand living men.” ~Minot J. Savage
  • “The legacy of heroes is the memory of a great name and the inheritance of a great example.”  ~Benjamin Disraeli
  • “And I’m proud to be an American, where at least I know I’m free. And I won’t forget the men who died, who gave that right to me.” ~Lee Greenwood

Happy Memorial Day

For love of country they accepted death…”  ~James A. Garfield

Happy Friday!  I hope that you have a terrific Memorial Day weekend!

This weekend is traditionally known as the beginning of summer.  So, people will be traveling to be with friends and family, having cookouts, and swimming in the ocean, lake, or pool.

I always have enjoyed the long weekend and the fun with the start of summer.  And, here in Tennessee it will be very hot — 90 degrees all weekend.  The heat of mid-summer is starting early.

But let’s not forget the reason for the holiday weekend.  It is remembering those in the Armed Services who have sacrificed so much for our freedoms.  Be it death, a massive injury, or a major change in their life, they make sacrifices for us each day.

I hope that you can thank those in the military for their service and job protecting us.  And, please honor and respect those who we have lost.  Thanks to you brave men and women for all you do.

It is amazing to me to think of what military families deal with.  Being away from one another for a year at a time or longer, going to parts of the world where Americans are not liked, in fact, they are often hated, and yet these men and women go wherever they are needed since it’s their duty.

Many of us have friends and family who have served in wars throughout the years or in peace time.  I had friends from high school who served during Operation Desert Storm and also in the more recent conflicts had some family and more friends serving.

My prayers are with the military, the generals and other officers, the Joint Chiefs, the people in the Pentagon, the Cabinet members, and our Commander-in-Chief.  Whether or not you agree with the conflict they are involved in, it is so very important to remember and support those in uniform who are protecting us.

There is quote that says a hero doesn’t wear a cape but a dog-tag.  I must agree and say thanks and God bless all of those serving and have served in the military.  We appreciate what has been done for us both by those who go to fight and by the families who stay behind.

Remember, freedom is never free.