The 4th of July. A day for picnics and fireworks. A day for family and friends. A day to rest and relax. Right?

Well, yes, of course. But it is much more than that.

I promise you that I will spend time today with family. We will eat, and we will relax. But at some point, I will also reflect on what today has cost us: as a family, and as a nation. I can’t help it. As a military wife and daughter, days like Independence Day, Veteran’s Day, and Memorial Day bring with it a reminder of the cost that accompanies the joy, the sacrifice that is attached to the responsibility.

I cannot see a flag without the mingling of both pride and a heavy heart. I cannot hear the Star Spangled Banner without standing tall and fighting a lump forming in my throat.

The cost of freedom is great, and those who pay it want you to celebrate. But please do not forget the reason for the celebration and those who paid dearly so you can enjoy it.


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