Happy Independence Day

Happy Independence Day to you and your family.

This morning we have been learning about Independence Day and the Declaration of Independence with the kids we are working with this week. We read part of it and I thought it would be good to write a post.

This quote is from ushistory.org.  It is part of the declaration but not all.

“The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America

When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

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, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness…

…We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these united Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States, that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. — And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.”

The founding fathers then signed it thus creating these United States of America.

I am thankful that they founded our country, wrote this declaration, and then later wrote and ratified the United States Constitution.  It is by no means perfect, but I cherish and appreciate the freedoms that they created for us.  I do not take them for granted and realize how very special they are.

I like that they created three equal but separate branches of government — executive, legislative, and judicial.  All of them are important to our country’s success.  My hope and prayer is that these branches can work better together and respect one another.

I also hope and pray that we can all learn the roles of each of these branches as I was fortunate to do in 9th grade Civics class.  We learned by acting out the jobs of these branches.  It made an impression and stuck with me.  Ian too is learning by doing and that is awesome.

We talked about our favorite founding father.  No surprise that Ian’s favorite is Alexander Hamilton.  He has learned a lot about him from the amazing musical. He mentioned that Hamilton helped create our treasury system and was against slavery.

After we are finished working with this family, we will have dinner and have time to relax.  Working is not what we typically do on this holiday but it is nice for Ian to be with a family of kids and have some fun with them along with the work.

Then tonight we will be watching the PBS special which airs the National Anthem, wonderful patriotic music — much of it marches by Phillip Sousa — speakers, singers, and then the fireworks.  Watching this broadcast is one of my favorite things to do on this July 4th holiday.

Happy Birthday USA!  Hope and pray that you will have a great day.

Happy Birthday to the Land That I Love

Tomorrow, July 4, is the birthday of the United States. In 1776, our founding fathers signed the Declaration of Independence that created this land that I love. This land of freedoms, of opportunities, and of care and compassion. Happy 242nd to you America!

I am thankful that they created our government with three equal but separate branches, instead of a monarchy which they came from. Those branches, as I learned in 9th grade Civics, are the legislative, executive, and judicial. My wish is that today our leaders in these branches would work together instead of constantly fighting and being mean to each other.

I hope and pray that we will continue to be a land of care and compassion, a land where anything is possible, a land where we help one another, and a land where we learn from each other’s differences. Sadly I am seeing more hate, division, mistrust, and no willingness to listen to each other.

That has to stop. We have to find a way to listen to one another, to learn from each other, and to be caring and help take care of each other. We have to do better for ourselves and for our children who look to us for guidance on how to treat others and navigate their world.

When President Reagan was in office, he had many heated discussions with senators and congressman, such as House Speaker Tip O’Neill. They went at it and spoke emphatically and strongly on their side, but they didn’t throw mud or call each other stupid or unwilling to work. They instead found compromises and worked for the betterment of the entire country.

Can we do that now? I believe we can. We just have to stop the rhetoric, the incitement of violence, and the hate. On both sides of every issue, we must do better. We must learn to love again and treat one another with kindness. We also must listen to each other, whether we agree or not. How else will we figure out our problems?

Our land is amazing and full of so many gifts and freedoms that many people in the world do not know. We can speak freely, we can worship as we choose, we can protect ourselves and our families, we can have a fair and speedy trial, and we can vote.

These are just some of the rights that we have as Americans. May we remember how precious they are, may we not take them for granted, may we protect them without hate and malice towards others, and may we remember we are all in this together.

A few quotes about the Declaration of Independence and Independence Day:

  • “It is very inspiring, my friends, to come to this that may be called the original fountain of independence and liberty in America and here drink draughts of patriotic feeling which seem to renew the very blood in one’s veins.” ~ President Woodrow Wilson
  • “Liberty is the breath of life to nations.” ~ George Bernard Shaw
  • “The Declaration of Independence! The interest which in that paper has survived the occasion upon which it was issued; the interest which is of every age and every clime; the interest which quickens with the lapse of years, spreads as it grows old, and brightens as it recedes, is in the principles which it proclaims.” ~ John Quincy Adams
  • “From every mountain side,  Let Freedom ring.” ~ Samuel F. Smith
  • “Where liberty dwells, there is my country.” ~ Benjamin Franklin
  • God Bless America
    Land that I love
    Stand beside her
    And guide her
    Through the night with the light from above
    From the mountains
    To the prairies
    To the oceans
    White with foam
    God bless America
    My home sweet home

Happy July 4th!

“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, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

I remember learning this in school — the beginning of the Declaration of Independence. This document helped create our nation. Today we celebrate America’s birthday – July 4, 1776.  Happy Birthday USA!

So what does it mean to have the rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.  Have you thought about these? I have some but not a lot. Often times we take our freedoms for granted.  I hope that we remember how special America is.  How unique America is and how amazing it is.

I don’t want to take for granted that men and women throughout our nation’s history have fought and died for our freedoms. These are listed in the U.S. Constitution.  Our nation’s birth and beginning is listed in the Declaration of Independence.  May we learn these, learn how our nation works, have a say in it, and never ever take it for granted.

Now for a few thoughts on this statement at the beginning of the blog.

What does all men are created equal mean to you?  To me, it means all of us have opportunities to do what we want.  It should not matter how much money we have, what our job is, what we look like, what religion we are, or who we love.

We are all valuable and amazing people. We are all worth knowing and worth loving. We are all worth learning from and contributing to the greater good.  May we remember that and remember to be kind rather than spewing hate and rhetoric against those who are different.  May we practice love, compassion, caring, and empathy to each other and learn about our differences.

For me the right of life is to have good health and feel good, a safe place to live with clean water, shelter, heating in the winter, air conditioning in the summer, enough food to eat, and quality and affordable health care for when we get sick.

I want all children to have enough to eat and all families to be able to provide this for their kids. I want us to be able to have chemo treatments if needed without the fear of going bankrupt. I want us to have our indoor plumbing and running water. I so appreciate and treasure these things.

The right of liberty is one that I think makes America very special.  We are free to believe what we want, to do as we want, to travel from state to state, to work, to play, to be with our families, and to say and speak what we want.

As you know, I am a supporter of the 1st Amendment.  I am in favor of a free media, the right of religious freedom, and to have our citizens believe and think how they see fit.  What I don’t like is hate, calling others fake, lying, or criticizing others who don’t agree with us.  I pray that we can find a way to respect others and learn from them.

The pursuit of happiness is perhaps a little harder to explain.  Since being happy is different for all of us, there are many definitions for this.  The fact that we can pursue our bliss and what makes us tick and motivates each day is pretty incredible.

Interesting that the founding fathers didn’t say the right of happiness itself but to pursue it.  I think they were encouraging all of us to strive for the best, be all that we can be, and  determine what means the most to us and go after it.  We should want to do better for our families, our friends, our children, and provide them with the best.

If this means having to reach out and help one another, I think that we should.  I think we should lift one another up, instead of tearing each other down.  I think we should be there for one another for the bad times and the good as well.

What do you think?  I would love to hear from you on your interpretation of the Declaration of Independence.

Today I am thankful for:

  • Freedom
  • The heroes who gave us our freedoms
  • Great food with family
  • Watching our son swimming
  • Laughter with family and friends
  • Prayers before a meal
  • Our church
  • Our community
  • Ian’s school
  • My family and friends
  • The love of writing and the media
  • Hugs from loved ones

I hope that you have a wonderful Independence Day!  Happy Fourth of July.  May you enjoy it and remember those who gave a day such as this to us.  I plan to do the same.

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.

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 4th of July!

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERAHope you are having a wonderful 4th of July.

I am looking forward to a nice and relaxing weekend.  There will be a lot of fun times with family to be had and that is great!

This afternoon, we will grill out hamburgers and hot dogs with my parents and niece and then make s’mores!  YUMMY!

Tomorrow night is dinner out with my husband’s brother and his wife.  Then Saturday will be swimming at the community pool with my brother and his wife and kids and then eating at the favorite pizza place in town.

Lots of food, fun, talking, and lazy time!  Sounds like a great weekend to me.

Here is my photo too for the Photo-A-Day challenge.  Today is Red, White, or Blue and I decided to go with all three — Red, White, and Blue.

Ian is holding his new American flag.  You can barely see his sweet grin out from under the bottom of the flag.

We have talked about the meaning of the stars and stripes and this morning read a book about the year 1776 and how different the United States was.  I thought it was important for him to know some of history of today.

Hope you have a wonderful Independence Day!

Here are a few quotes about our country’s birthdate:

  • “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
  • “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