I can’t believe that we are already in our seventh month of 2013.  And today we celebrate Independence Day.  This day means a lot of things to different people.  We have a son who is currently in the Army so I think about this day differently than I used to.  We are very proud of him for serving his country and that extends to all of our armed forces both in the past and the present. 

As we look around this time of year there are American flags hanging proudly.  Did you know that each part of the flag stands for something?  The 50 stars stand for the 50 states.  The 13 stripes stand for the 13 British colonies, which declared their independence on July 4, 1776.  The flag is a symbol, a way to show the world what we stand for and it shows that we are all connected to one another and on the same team.  Because the flag is special in this way, it should always be treated with respect. 

Our country is also special because of the rights we are guaranteed.  I am thankful that our Bill of Rights protects us and I can worship and pray, read a newspaper, write this blog, just to name a few, things that some people in other countries are not allowed to do. 

Independence Day is also a day of celebration with barbecues, parades, family get-togethers, and fireworks!   There is one 4th of July that I always think about this time of year.  My children were younger, so it has been at least 10-11 years ago and we had a July 4th party at our house.  We, at the time had a dog named Mallie, she was a beagle mix and we were shooting off roman candles.  My husband had stuck the Roman candle in a pipe that we had in the ground, lit it and stepped back and Mallie ran up and grabbed the Roman candle.  As she grabbed it, it was sideways in her mouth, so the candle started going off and people were running everywhere!  They were jumping in the pool and trying to get away because Mallie was running around in circles as we were chasing her and the candle was going off.   We finally caught her and thankfully no one was hurt and after that any time we shot fireworks we put Mallie in the garage.  Mallie has since passed on but every time we shoot fireworks I think about her! 

The Lee Greenwood song always comes to mind when I think about being a proud American.  “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 gladly stand up next to you and defend her still today, ‘Cause there ain’t no doubt I love this land, God Bless the USA!”  I hope ya’ll have a Happy 4th of July!  Be safe and remember to pray for our men and women in the Armed Forces.