With the 4th of July celebrations coming up this weekend, many of us will be traveling and having cookouts and parties, but I hope we can all take a moment to stop and remember what it means to be an American and live in this wonderful country, to remember all the freedoms that we have here, and all the sacrifices and hard decisions required to ensure our way of life is the best our nation could offer us.
Alan and I both served in the Armed Forces. He retired from the Air Force, and I served a term in the Navy, and when you first join, you are required to take an oath. "I, Jennifer, do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic...that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same...so help me God." To serve our country in this way has been one of my greatest honors, to see the rest of the world and know that my life back home in the United States was far greater than a lot of the world even dreams of. It makes me thankful and proud to be an American.
With the rise of social media, it has become much easier to share your political and moral feelings and ideals with the whole world, but I hope with all the disagreements and differences of opinions that bring so many to anger, we can take at least this holiday as a chance to reflect on the principals and rights we have here in this country that allow us to speak (and type) so freely to say whatever it is that we want to. I pray that we can come together as a nation united and put aside political parties and standpoints, put aside the issues that have divided us as a people, to put aside the arguments and petty, negative online comments and posts. The best part about being an American is that although I may disagree with my neighbor, we both have the rights to stand up for our beliefs, and that is a something that we share.
We all share these freedoms that we so often take for granted, we share the beautiful mountains, rivers, and plains. We share rights that many countries will never know. We share the responsibility to protect our nation and its people, whether by serving in the military or standing up as a civilian to protect the weak and doing your part to make sure these freedoms are never taken away or lost.
I encourage each one of you to celebrate this birthday of our nation with pride and remembrance. Be with your friends and families, and love your country. Things will not always be just the way we think they ought to be, but we are truly blessed to be here!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, AMERICA! And happy Independence Day and safe travels to each one of you from us here at Stegall's Pottery!