Happy Fourth of July



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Remember Why We Celebrate Independence Day!

Today is the 4th of July, Independence Day for those of us in the United States.  Many of us will be having lots of fun getting together with friends and families for picnics and fireworks. As I have said on other holidays, please take a moment to remember and remind or teach your children about why this day is important. Remember the prices that were paid by soldiers and civilians alike to gain our independence which we so often take for granted.

Remember the leaders who fought bravely beside their men, who spoke bold, strong words to encourage them, not worrying if what they said would be politically correct. They didn’t straddle the fence with their words and actions so they would look good to others but bravely stood for what was right.

I am so shocked at how little many American children and even adults know about our American history and what led up to that first Independence Day.  They don’t know that the soldiers fought in bitter cold winters, sometimes with no shoes, coats or even blankets to wrap in at night or that they served with few and at times no rations, often having to go find food for themselves.

They were told they were fighting a losing war but in spite of that they kept fighting with faith and courage, even with the odds against them so that not only their future heirs but people from other countries could have freedom.

At times, I am ashamed of the past couple of generations who take all of this for granted. What has happened to that strong heritage where when bad things happen we bravely go on, not whining or having a pity party? So many of us whine about every little thing that goes wrong in our lives. We moan and groan because we can’t go on vacation this year, because money is tight or because our children can’t play football because we are having to live on one income. We complain when we can’t afford a brand new car, bigger house or a big screen TV.

What would you have done in that war for independence? Fight bravely or give up at the first little bit of resistance and make excuses why you couldn’t fight?

I am so grateful and proud to be an American. Some of you have heard me say this before so bear with me. My grandfather came here from Greece as a young man. The greatest day of his life was when he received his American citizenship. He worked very hard for it. He learned English, studied American history and government and knew more about it than most Americans who were born here. He even had his last name changed so it sounded more American because he was so proud to be an American.

To be an American was an honor and a privilege. It was a responsibility, too. My grandfather took that responsibility seriously, working in his community so much so that on the day of his funeral they closed all of the stores and schools in town so everyone could go.

I compare that to so many people coming to America now who refuse to do any of the above, who insist on flying the flags of the countries they have come from, declining to learn English but wanting all the privileges that come with being an American citizen and none of the responsibilities.

This would be much like being on a losing team in the NFL and begging a winning team (and one that makes more money) to take them on, which they finally do. On the day of the first big game the team comes running out onto the field, where they discover the new player in his old team’s jersey. He hasn’t learned any of the new team’s plays and keeps running touchdowns for the other team. What would the fans and other players think of a player doing that? He would be booed off of the field and probably bodily removed.

I’m not saying that we should toss people out or even boo them but to ask that Americans and new immigrants please start being proud to be Americans, not in a self righteous way but in a grateful and responsible way. I was walking around the grocery store this morning thinking how blessed I was to be able to live where I can wander around an air conditioned store full of huge amounts of good food to pick and choose from when this classic song started playing. I think it says it all:

“This is my country, land of my birth. This is my country, grandest on earth. I pledge thee my allegiance, America the bold. For this is my country to have and to hold!”

I pray that God will bless us but even more so that we will be thankful and grateful to Him for our country and give Him a reason to be a proud Father as we become children of good character and integrity.

-Jill

 

Photo By: magikalfolk

Comments

  1. says

    Thank you Jill! Everyday when I help my husband out of bed I am reminded of the cost of freedom. It is nice to think of it as a price being paid by “other people” but everyone needs tot hink about what they are doing to preserve those freedoms.

  2. says

    Last fall my 15 year old son was challenged to memorize the entire Declaration of Independence. He did it, and in helping him I heard it over and over. By the end I was speechless. What an amazing document! I can’t hear it anymore without getting choked up at the end. What men our founding fathers were!

  3. jill says

    It’s funny you mentioned that Karen. Last night I was listening to a man who said everyone needs to at least read and even better study the Constitution. He said it only takes about an hour to read. Why we should read it is because it in a nut shell covers what we should expect from our government and leaders so when we are ready to vote we know one whose plans and ideas are closest to it is the right person.

    We should never vote for someone because of their sex, age, race or knowledge but how closely they cling to the Constitution.

    I wish now when my kids were young I had on each 4th or Memorial Day read part or all (depending on their age) of both of these to my children as a tradition.

    Thank goodness they have grown up to be strong Americans anyway. Of course that maybe because their grandpa from the time they could talk would have all the grandkids memorize and sing the Marine Corps hymn. :) :)

    Jill

  4. Susan says

    Jill
    Happy 4th of July! I started teaching my daughter {who is now 20} why we celebrate July 4th when she was little.
    I did this on all holidays. memorial day, labor day etc so that she would understand that it was not just another day of”fun” Now that she is grown she says she is so glad that I took the time to teach her these things because when she was in school it seems like all the teachers were focused on was what was going to be on the standard of learning tests or more commonly know as SOL and they barely did touched on why we have these holidays! Our community will gather this evening for a cookout and fireworks and you can bet before the first bite of food is eaten we will have prayer and say the pledge of the alleigance and our local service folks will be served first and thanked for their service to our country. Everyone brings a dish and we have a wonderful time!

  5. Susan says

    Oh forgot to mention I went out this morning to pick up something at walgreens for an eldery neighbor and while I was there they were marking down all 4 of july items 75% off! I got some really nice american flag paper plates and matching cups and napkins, I also got a really nice table cloth that is red and white and some
    dish towels that are white with silver looking stars on them. I also got some heavy section plates in red. I got all of this for 12 dollars and 47 cents! These will be great to use for other holidays!

  6. Grizzly Bear Mom says

    On the 4th of July I kiss at the WWII veterans and thank them for their service. Compared to them this tubby 48 year old is a hottie. I am also a veteran and celebrate all the holy-days as they were intended. I stand up when the flag passess in review, sing the patriotic songs, (I knew the UMSC hymn by heart thanks to my dad though I’m a USAF vet!) and cry when I remember the sacrifices noble men and women made for us. Working in DC I can see the memorials from my office and I walk to them on the holidays. (To sneak in a few more kisses!0 I also hug the veterans at church (sorry I only kiss stranger men-I don’t want a bad reputation), insist that the ministers recognize the veterans (why do I have to do that?!), etc. I’ve lived all over the world and there is no more wonderful place for any man, woman, minority members, etc than the good old USA!

  7. Jessica says

    Thank you! I love the way you described your Grandfather’s pride and gratefulness of being an American. He was what America is about (or should still be about)! You have a wonderful legacy from him.

  8. Renee says

    Jill,
    Finally, someone understands. You hit the nail on the head. Why are we, political America, so anxious to appease someone who doesnt even want to comply with the American way of doing things. I understand there is a learning curve; but, please why have mini-countries within a country. We should ALL be ONE–America. So, the effort and sacrifices that I’ve made to belong here(a place where I was born) to fit in should be across the board. I embrace the differences in cultures; however, we should obey the same laws; speak the same language; given the same opportunities; work from the same playing field.
    God Bless America; And America, bless God.

  9. Jan C says

    I think that for all the immigrants who are here illegally, it should be mandatory for them to serve 2-4 years in our military and then they can be granted citizenship. If they don’t want to fight for our country, they should go back to their country. The military will certainly teach them English. Happy 4th of July and God Bless America

  10. Carol says

    My mother was an only child of German immigrants. She only spoke German when she started school and was spanked everyday for not knowing English. English is the language of this country, and I find it appalling that we now have to learn how to speak Spanish in certain states because those who have come to this country don’t want to learn “OUR” language. We cower down to those who don’t want to live by our ways because it’s politically correct. I say if you don’t like the way things are here in OUR United States then go back to where you came from. I want to say the Pledge of Allegiance, and have Christmas and display lights and see “In God we Trust” on our money
    and I don’t want to become a Muslim. We need to take back our country and our government is certainly not helping this. We need to stand as one country again, with patriotism and pride in OUR country. God Bless America!

  11. Sharon Hughes says

    Jill, you spoke well. I don’t have a good way with words,asd some do, but I know what my heart feels. I am so proud to be an American, so grateful for all the gifts that freedom has given me all my life. My heart hurts when I think of patriotism, and I wonder how many folks still feel it. I wish the old black and white films, from the 40s, would be required seeing in grade and middle schools. When America was at war then folks would give up much, and be so proud of being able to help in any way they could. I don’t know when my family came to America, but I do know that there is no other place I would rather be. I am proud of what she once stood for, and I pray, almost daily, that she will repent and turn back to the One Who made her such a wonderful, FREE place to be.

  12. Jennifer says

    Thank for your thoughts on our great country; I too share these thoughts. I was blessed to have been born in a time when we were “allowed” & encouraged to sing patriotic songs. I remember what an honor it was to parade around my class in elementary school, carrying the flag while singing these great songs. It instilled a deep respect & affection for our nation that’s sadly missing today.
    Jennifer

  13. says

    My great grandfather was proud to be American. He gave up speaking Gaelic and spoke American English. He was proud to be American, and I don’t think ever referred to himself as an Irishman.

  14. Mary says

    Seems strange that so many of us feel the same way yet the minority is ruling this country. I believe it is time for the majority to again rule, don’t you?
    So many elections today are not about who is best for the job but the ‘lesser of evils’ so to speak. Only, rich, career politicians need apply as they are the only ones with enough connections to big business and others to get elected.
    Time to change that! I don’t have all the answers but I do believe that term limits for senators and representatives would be a good start. Unfortunately they are not going to vote for a law that limits their own powers.
    Our colonial fathers would cringe at the way things are being done in the country they fought so hard to establish. Our war veterans surely deserve more support and respect than they are getting as well.
    Everyone of our forefathers and those who came after them including the huge influx of Vietnamese ALL HAD TO LEARN ENGLISH. Why is that such a big deal now? Why are there two flags flying over our country instead of only one?
    Our schools have definitely been toned down to teach only what is ‘politically correct’ and gloss over anything else. It is hard enough for teachers to teach when big government keeps telling them they cannot discipline the students but to edit out important information about our nation and how it came to be and why is repulsive. The Holocost, Korea, VietNam and many other major historical events are being ignored in today’s classrooms.
    Without this knowledge we are doomed to repeat the problems of the past.

  15. Jenny Oram-Weaver says

    May I wish you all a very happy and peaceful 4 July. What a truly memorable time to celebrate. I am only sorry we are not as patriotic here in England! I have had so much wonderful, good, sensible advice from Jill, Tawra and contributors to FRUGAL LIVING I can honestly say it has kept me going through the past two difficult years. You are all truly inspirational. It has been said, so many times, that to live frugally DOES NOT MEAN being mean spiritied, far from it. Waste of any sort is such a bad thing – and this was brought home to me last year when I had a COMPLETE de-clutter of my house and I was totally ashamed to realise just how much money I had literally spent on things I could well do without. I just made peace with my conscience by passing my little used goods and quality clothes on to a local church charity shop and just hope that someone else enjoyed the things I no longer needed. I certainly learned my lesson and now always use the “do I WANT it or do I really NEED it” thought when I buy new things now. I can get by – and happy to do so – on so little and Jill and Tawra have been helpful indeed in making us all realise this I am sure. We sometimes surround ourselves with possessions, holidays, cars, the list is endless – thinking this will make us “happy” when all the time we should just be thinking of living a kind and caring – for ourself and others – life – it is soon over after all! I wish you all a joyous and peaceful 4 July and I look forward to reading and enjoying in FRUGAL LIVING long after your celebrations are over! God Bless America. Kindest wishes from a true convert here in cold, misty, damp and rainy England. PS Could you please send us some warm sunshine – we are freezing cold here! Jenny

    • says

      What a nice post Jenny. I had to laugh because when I first started reading your post and saw you were from England I instantly thought to myself – ahhhh how I wish I could be in cool rainy lovely England and then you end with how you wish you had some of our warm weather. Boy would I give anything to trade weather or if we could share some. It is 106 degrees here (I think that is the same as 41 C) and has stayed that hot going on 2 weeks now. Not a cloud in the sky or a drop of rain. I just saw the weather and that is still how it is going to be for another week. : ) Yes I would love to be in England right about now. : )

      I loved what you said in your post about how “freeing” it is to get rid of stuff. Even though I have not had huge mounds of things I have still had a bunch and it is like the older I get the more I want to get rid of. I think because of my CFS I find I do so much better not having to dust a bunch of knick knacks, shift and move things and try to find places to store more stuff. Just looking at the piles of things wears me out. I am right there with you – it feels so good to get rid of stuff. Surprisingly, like you, I don’t miss it one bit.

  16. Maggie says

    My birthday is July 1 and I consider the 4th of July holiday as just a continuation of my birthday. And really, by thinking that, all of America’s holidays I consider my special days. I love living in America and wonder how we have become so divided in our beliefs. I don’t want to get political here but we need to step up and vote for the person who is going to do what is right for the United States and not all the special interest groups. We try to be so politically correct when we speak, that our values and the importance of our United States takes a backseat. Again, make your voice heard and VOTE! I agree with previous notes, too, read the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution and make your decisions based on who wants to contine our country the way our forefathers intended. Only then can we continue to stay proud of where we live.

  17. Paula says

    AMEN Jill!!! God Bless you for your patriotism!!!

    People in this country haven’t got a clue of ALL God has BLESSED us with…. The 4th of July is a day off, pool parties, bar-b-ques and sales…..HOW SAD!!!

    Take a good look at the WORLD, it’s living conditions, and the upheaval other countries are in, fighting for FREEDOM, DEMOCRACY, and HUMAN RIGHTS…..These things are ALREADY OURS-except we take it for granted!!!

    Those RED stripes on OLD GLORY are soaked in the BLOOD of our forefathers as well as the young people who are STILL PROTECTING us from the assorted NUTS running this world, who would like nothing better than to blow us off the planet….I saw a young man today on FOX NEWS with NO LIMBS, learning to feed his young baby with an artificial hand…He embodies the TRUE AMERICAN SPIRIT of NEVER QUIT, FIGHT FOR FREEDOM, LIVE FREE!!! He gave up his limbs protecting us and I for one am eternally GRATEFUL for all who SERVE/SERVED….

    So before you smear on one glob of sunscreen, or stuff one bite of that hotdog into your face, bow your head and say “THANK YOU LORD FOR ALL YOU HAVE BLESSED THIS COUNTRY WITH,AND PROTECT US FROM HARM ALWAYS”

    Happy Birthday AMERICA-GOD BLESS YOU ALWAYS!!!

  18. mb welch says

    In the newsletter, you were looking for a book about American history. Check your library for From Sea to Shining Sea by Peter Marshall. There is an adult and a children’s version. If they don’t have it,ask if they can Inter-Library Loan it (borrow from another library). It is also available on Amazon pretty low priced, and worth owning. There are others that follow, since this only covers the first 50 years. Great book and great message for all of us!

  19. LAC says

    My son is in his first year of college for Criminal Justice. He has been studying the Constitution since the 5th grade when he first learned about it in history. He had the privilege of seeing the original documents on display in our home town and was part of his Dad’s citizenship ceremony when he became a US citizen. The ceremony includes a flag and booklet on the Constitution. My son wants to become a Constitution Lawyer. Unfortunately one of the things my son is also learning is how far away we have become as a nation away from the constitution. It is imperative that ALL Americans read/study and DEMAND that our leaders not destroy the Constitution but defend it as they promised to do under oath!

  20. Julie says

    You are such an inspiration on so many levels. I’m so glad that you expressed your opinion about being an American. I couldn’t agree more. You embody so many of the good solid morals that made this country an awesome place to live. Work hard, save your money and be humble. Happy 4th to you and yours.

    • says

      Thank you Julie. I just had another really nasty post but God always gives us 10 times more sweet ones after we get a nasty one so thank you. I just heard a preacher say it is so easy and takes to time to tear someone down but more time and care to build someone up so I thank you for taking the time to encourage us.

  21. susan says

    Happy 4th of July! As we celebrate our country’s birthday and thank those who have served or is serving this great country please remember that we have alot of veterans in nursing homes that have no family and just stopping by to speak to them will make their day. As my family gets ready to watch the fire works we will stop by our local nursing home and give out candy and hugs!

    • says

      This is such a good comment Susan. Our pastor was saying last week when you see someone in uniform go over and shake their hand and thank them. Yes it may feel awkward the first couple of times you do it but it gets easy. He said he had recently shook hands with 3 wounded vets at a restaurant and he himself was moved to tears before he was done talking to them. This goes for our firemen and policemen too. Again thanks for this comment.

  22. Nancy says

    Political correctness is going to ruin this wonderful country if it is not stopped. It seems that textbooks are eliminating anything that can be construed as “American exceptionalism”. I’m sorry, but America is exceptional!

    America is the country that has liberated countries that would have been destroyed if not for our assistance. That includes countries that “love to hate us”.

    Schools are not teaching civics, have attempted to re-write history, and are turning out students that are ignorant of the truth. It is so sad, and is not going to get any better unless things radically change.

    The government is creating a large population that is dependent on government assistance so those in power will keep the votes of those who depend on assistance, instead of being self reliant.

    I worry for our children and our grandchildren. Patriotism is declining and will definitely be a thing of the past if America keeps going in the current direction.

    Voters need to educate themselves, stop believing all of the propaganda, and take back America. If we don’t, we are all going to be living in a country that doesn’t even resemble the America we were so proud of. We are well on our way to Socialism and many of us don’t notice or care.

    Thanks for your great post!

    • jean says

      Agreed wholeheartedly. we have become the laughing stock of the world. including anyone who tries to enter our country without following our laws and rules. i had ancestors who came over and the great,great grandmother had to return to her native country till she was better. leaving 2 children with their father and not knowing about the future. well she rallied and then went through proper papers and eventually returned to Our Land of Opportunity. Thanking God for the opportunity and becoming a citizen working had to provide and having all of her children learn English(our priomry language of this country) yet keeping up the knowledge of their heritage they were Hard Working,God fearing and never assumed the government had to provide even though they were sometimes down to their last dime. they survived and lived a long happy life and we learned to respect all the values passes on to us because of them. God Bless America and may we become the strong leaders of the world we once were

  23. Carole says

    I am a senior and was an Air Force Brat during WWII. My father was a pilot that flew the English Channel and was overseas for over two years. My husband left college to join the Navy when the war began. He served at many bases and was sent to Pearl after the bombing there. During this war we all pulled together. We had Victory gardens, saved all metal for the war effort and rolled bandages using clean white sheets torn into strips. So many things I remember helping with as the children were also involved in this time of saving. That is why I like this web site. Even if you do not have to Live on a Dime, it is teaching how to do so and not waste. In many cases how to have more of the items you do actually need. I now live in a Navy town so see many of the guys and gals in uniform. Do say Hello! to them. There is no draft. They joined the military on their own to work to protect this beautiful country we life in. Let them know we appreciate it.

  24. LeighAnne Burgess says

    Jill,
    I have received your newsletter for a couple of years and enjoyed lots of great ideas. I feel we would be great friends if we knew each other personally. From your newsletters I can see we share a lot of the same values and ideas on life and family. I have never left a comment before today, but you have put into words the exact way I feel and haven’t been able word it so well.
    Thank you, LeighAnne

    • says

      LeighAnne thanks for posting. I feel the same about so many of our readers too that if we lived near each other and knew each other we would be friends. I know that will never probably happen but at least we can have the fun of being “pen pals” of sorts. Please be sure to comment when you can. Thanks, Jill

  25. Sheri says

    We are a nation of immigrants. I thought we were a mixing pot. One grandma has roots back to the American Revolution. One grandpa was born after his parents came from Sweden. My other grandma came from Armenia, met my other grandpa while he was serving in the Navy in China. Daddy was born overseas and didn’t see his home country until he was three. The proudest day of my grandma’s life was when she became a citizen!

    My husband has one set of grandparents who came from Italy. The other set came from Ireland. All of our immigrant family members had a difficult time coming here, acclimating and studying for citizenship. They faced prejudice and misunderstandings. We enjoy the culture that they brought and also the legacy of a hard-earned citizenship!

    We need to remember our own family histories as part of our history as a nation! Let’s remember what it means to be a melting pot. This country is special! There’s none other like it!

  26. Grizzly Bear Mom says

    WE need to read the Mayflower Compact, the Declaration of Independence, Constitution, etc. so we can teach it. For example according to the Mayflower Compact the Pilgrims came here “For the glory of God and the furtherence of the Christian religion”; and not mere freedom of religion. If we don’t know it, we can’t teach it and hold educators responisble for doing so. In fact learn these documents and offer to teach them in your schools. Most teachers would be happy to have an hour off.

  27. jean says

    when i was younger and patriotic days such as july 4th ame about. we would run up to the corner and watch a parade with many veterans and other groups marching and proudly displaying our Flag. we as kids also had smaller versions of the falg and proudly waved it as the parade passed us by. this would be start of the day of family and friends gathering at our house for a great barbecue and fun and games. those were great days. unfortunately, no one seems to realize why we have these holidays except to party and of course have a day off. just the fact that we first honored the day then enjoyed it with everyone was wonderful and gave us a sense of belonging to the bigger picture of Patriots

  28. Sue Smith says

    Hi Jill, I enjoyed reading your thoughts about being a citizen. I also have noticed the bad behavior in public places. It’s not always just non-citizens either. I think that some of it is a reflection of today’s openness–facebook, twitter, etc. No personal privacy and it all boils down to the worst behavior from most people most of the time. I have been thinking about this for a long time and have done some reading too. Each wave of immigrants does bring something good to our country as we look back, but to see it as it happens is impossible. Please continue to write about it and talk to people–it’s the only way to send ideas to the next generations. Sue

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