The 4th is especially meaningful to me this year because of the books I have been reading and listening to lately. I just finished a work of children’s fiction about Hungary during World War II (and grieved as I thought about what was about to happen to them when the Soviet Union took over). I am currently in the midst of two non-fiction books, one about the Soviet Union under communist socialism and the other about East Germany. Whew! I am grateful to have been born in America.
Ray and I look forward to more celebrating today, but I am grateful that we were able to enjoy our annual trip to the Lancaster, Tennessee, Independence Day celebration again this year with our younger daughter and her family.
I am thankful for the folks who make homemade ice cream every year and to Ray for buying me some before the parade began.
I am grateful for the volunteers who work hard every year. This man is one of them.
I am grateful for the color guard and the respect people showed them.
I am grateful for the Vietnam veterans who rode their motorcycles in the parade.
I am grateful for the costumed volunteers who greeted us on a very hot Sunday evening.
I am grateful for Uncle Sam and the Statue of Liberty and the volunteers who portrayed them.
I am grateful for state representative Terri Lynn Weaver, who always portrays Martha Washington and who always sings “The Star-Spangled Banner.”
I am also grateful for our U.S. Congressman John Rose, who was directing traffic in his orange vest when we pulled in to park and directing traffic when we pulled out four hours later. I am grateful for every first responder who risks his life to help others.
I am grateful for Mr. Richard Garey who portrayed Samuel “Mark Twain” Clemons in the parade . . .
. . . and later on stage.
And I am grateful for the freedom to worship God according to my conscience — a freedom the people of the Soviet Union and East Germany and Hungary did not have while I was growing up.
First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers,
petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men,
for kings and all who are in authority,
so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity.
This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior,
who desires all men to be saved
and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
1 Timothy 2:1-4