TSGS Cruiser Blog

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy Birthday, America!

Reflecting on this special day...

As Americans celebrate July 4th. with all that traditionally happens on this day, I wonder if we think very much about what this day means to all of us.  It was a day back in 1776, when a group of English Colonist decided to declare independence from England and the King!  It could easily mean death to many of them for being treasonous.  Their families were being put at risk, as well.  This was a bold stand to take with such slogans as: "Give Me Liberty or Death!"  They made signs and even had flags that pictured the rattlesnake with the words: "Don't Tread on Me!" that served as a warning, as well as, a threat.  This had to be a time of complete turmoil for many of our ancestors.  England had a mighty army and navy and, yet, the Colonist took them on!  It would have been just a foolish attempt to rid the Colonies of the unfair controls of the Crown across the ocean, except for the strong resolve of these people.  They risked everything... their lives, their families, their homes - everything they had for freedom.  We have a great nation, today, that was built on this desire to control its own destiny.

This morning, I thought about the life I grew up as a kid with Television that featured shows like the "Andy Griffith Show" with Opie (played by Ron Howard) and Don Knotts, plus so many others.  Times seemed so simple before computers, cell phones and all of our high-tech toys!  A true legend, Andy Griffith, died yesterday at the age of 86.  We will all go on with our busy lives to celebrate today another birthday for the USA... we will need to be careful today with fireworks due to the fire hazards caused by our current drought, but we will have our picnics, parades, family reunions and whatever else we, as American families traditionally do.

This morning I have a unique opportunity to join with others in Hopkinsville, Kentucky to be at the dedication ceremony of the memorial monument erected at Kentucky Veteran's Cemetery West in honor of the men who participated in the American Revolutionary War that were buried in Christian County, Kentucky.  One of my ancestors. Thomas West, Jr., will be listed on the very large 7-foot monolith-style marker.  I will reflect on what he and so many others risked or in many cases gave-up for this nation to exist.  I will also be reminded of my family and my life growing up in a country that we too often take for granted.  I hope everyone will take a little time to think what this day, July the Fourth, means to us all!

- Written by JGWest

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