Coming up for all of us to consider is a date of importance. In fact, it will arrive the same day that the paper comes out this week, the 4th of July, Independence Day. Do you have any special thoughts about it, or is it just another day to cook out and enjoy the summer time weather?

I wonder how many schoolchildren or college students and perhaps those who are a bit older really grasp the significance. I suspect not a majority, and how unfortunate that is. In our current "me first" society, far too often many of all ages just live for the moment. Few, if any, give consideration to how blessed we are. This date celebrates our freedom, which is unmatched by any country in the history of mankind. Take a moment and consider the wisdom of our Founding Fathers who put together the elements of our republic, and be thankful.

However, to hear the verbiage of politicians, as they scramble for support in their effort to gain recognition and power, is nothing less than pathetic. To hear the rhetoric that drips from their lips leads one to believe that we are living in a very repressive place. Nothing is farther from the truth, as we all have the ability to go where we wish, to say what we want, that is, unless you are a conservative, and that means you are simply speaking hate speech. We have freedom of religion and can choose to work where we please, as long as we are qualified to do the work, and sometimes if we are not. This is far different than other countries, such as China, Russia, Iran and other areas dominated by those less tolerant ideologically. Think about it, what’s better than being independent?

It must be clearly understood that our independence and freedom are not without significant cost. Over the years our nation has been required to make huge commitments and sacrifices of men and substance to be able to maintain its freedom. I encourage all ages to never forget this truism. Be ever vigilant of aggressive nations with philosophies far different from ours with either economic or warlike attitudes that infringe on our independence. We must always maintain a strong and vibrant economic presence, as well as a dominant military one. Many of the proposed positions of those of the far left Democrats, in my opinion, would produce negative postures to opponents such as China, Russia, Iran and North Korea. This is particularly true with their push toward extreme socialistic policies that would seriously hinder our economic and military preparedness.

Instead of coasting, as if all is well, be alert, be informed and be engaged. If we fail to do so, our independence and our freedom will be seriously challenged. It is my prayer that we will open wide the eyes of our souls and be filled with a spirit of both joy and commitment and be inspired to maintain our strength and purpose. Have a happy and committed Independence Day.