Remembering Freedom

Posted by on Jul 5, 2014 in Articles | 0 comments

Patriotic music played over the PA as we arrived at the parade field on Fort Gordon, Georgia.  Families were already staking their claims on the best picnic spots.  My friends and I were surprised to find a place to spread our blankets and picnic baskets so close to the stage.

 

It was a beautiful night – still 80 degrees, but the humidity had dropped and offered a welcome break from the stickiness.  We had used my military dependent ID card to get on the base for the 4th of July festivities.  We had anticipated the fireworks and celebration all afternoon.  We were getting settled in when the program was called to order.

 

“Stand for the Pledge of Allegiance!”  Silence fell over the grounds as men, women and children stood and placed their hands over their hearts.  At the close of the Pledge, the US Army Band played the Star-Spangled Banner.  Sniffles could be heard all around.

 

We were treated to a parade of many of our men and women in uniform, all standing proud and tall in their dress uniforms as the band struck up America the Beautiful.

 

“We are here tonight to celebrate our independence!” was the proclamation over the sound-system.  “We salute those early founders for their courage and boldness as they stood against tyranny.  We also solute our many soldiers who have fought bravely over the years.”  Dates and times, wars and battles were recited.  I felt my throat close as the Commander spoke of the Viet Nam War and of Operation Desert Storm, which was raging at the very moment of the celebration.  My father served in Viet Nam and his company was on alert in Germany, preparing for Desert Storm.  My father was foremost in my mind as the celebration continued, tears springing up repeatedly.  “Please, Lord, be with my Dad,” I prayed.

My mind was snapped back to the celebration as the Commander recited the introduction and beginning of the preamble of the Declaration of Independence. “’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.’  Let us never forget the words written over 200 years ago.  Let us remember that it is our Maker and God who entitled us to freedom.  We must never forget the sacrifices made or the history linked to our “One Nation Under God!”

Applause exploded all over the field as people shot to their feet!  It was exciting yet respect.  We celebrated well into the night with canons firing and fireworks exploding.  We felt united with people we had never met before, feeling truly that we were “one nation under God.”

I left the parade field that night never wanting to forget the freedom we have in our country.  God has granted great blessings to our nation.  Remember that Freedom, not just this 4th of July weekend, but always.

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