Two-hundred-and-thirty-eight years ago our forefathers pledged to build the free nation that we enjoy today. The birth of patriotism was unheard of, such phrases as "treason, the gallows, the headsman's axe," was commonly used throughout especially to those even discussing the issue. However, not only did they discuss it, they acted on it.

Only 56 men, a small group so unique that to this day we have never seen another group act as they did, pledge their lives and everything of worth to them. Many gave their lives in the war and to what they believed in the following years to make America what it was to be and a birth to a nation.

Throughout my life as an American and as a US Marine I look to try to be as brave and ambitious as those that came before us. To make this country a better place than it was yesterday, a place where regardless of race, sex or beliefs you can make a better life for yourself if you want to. Routinely, as I watch fireworks, I like to stop looking up and quietly look at those fellow Americans sitting to my left and right. Despite our internal differences I routinely see the American spirit in them, the proud demeanor and the appreciation of being an American. Not a site I get to see often as a Marine as often I am out of America and deployed forward but for that short time I can enjoy the American spirit brought out by the patriotism and fireworks.

Our country is the greatest country in the world. Freedom is a major pillar that defines America and those that cherish it are willing to protect it. We believe in it and will die keeping it that way just as many of the those 56 did. We are not anything super human or special; we are common minded Americans that believe in what this country was built on and what the Declaration of Independence stands for.

Some may say that America is changing and many people of our great nation only want handouts etc. and would not stand for our nation in time of need. I say look harder through those that simply will take from our country and not give. Anyone can take from this country but look at those that are willing to give and give more to make this country the very best. Eventually, those that want to only take will also look to those that give for the greater good, they are called leaders.

American leaders may not always be visible but they are out there, doing what is best for America in some form if only to make one other citizen better than they were the day before. We are not the land of hand outs, we are the land of the free, and there is a difference.

“Let the Fourth of July always be a reminder that here in this land, for the first time, it was decided that man is born with certain God-given rights; that government is only a convenience created and managed by the people, with no powers of its own except those voluntarily granted to it by the people.” Ronald Reagan

It is you the American that is free and carries the American spirit and patriotism within and if not displayed is only your fault as an American. It is our great country and that is what the 4th of July means to me. Time for a C-Gar


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