It is altogether fitting that Americans celebrate significant moments of our past that are connected with our country’s emphasis on freedom. Memorial Day honors the memory of those who died to keep America free and to preserve freedom for our world. Veteran’s Day honors all who have served in the armed forces that serve our country in wartime as well as peacetime. D-Day recalls the efforts of our brave soldiers who invaded the beaches of Normandy to break Hitler’s foothold on Europe and bring World War II to a quicker end.

      Because of the brave men and women who have served our country, we enjoy freedoms that many in the world only dream about. Many of these people fought and died on foreign soil never to return to their homeland. As Kentucky native Theodore O’Hara said, they “gave the last full measure.” _But, they did that knowing that their efforts were largely for future generations. It is because of them that we are able to celebrate the freedoms we have.

This Fourth of July I Should:

     Celebrate: Our freedoms are good things to have and we should celebrate our good fortune. We should take the time to be with family, rest from work and take advantage of the privileges we often take for granted.

     Remember: Don’t just celebrate. Remember the many benefits of our freedoms. Remember that these freedoms represent opportunity as well as privilege. Remember what it took to obtain these freedoms and those who literally sacrificed their lives to keep us free!

    Observe: What is the spirit of the day? Take time to reflect on what is being observed. Read about it and learn to appreciate the meaning of the day. Why not check your family tree to see if your ancestors had a part in making the day significant?

     Pray: Give thanks to God for the freedoms we enjoy and for the people who made it all possible. Romans 13 reminds us that the governments that exist are ordained of God. We should pray for our leaders that they will function responsibly and sacrificially for our country. In doing so, ask God to given them wisdom to handle such an awesome responsibility.

     Grill a hamburger or a hot dog, play games, visit and laugh with your family and friends, come home to rest up and take stock of what we have in America worth celebrating. Above all, do not forget that God made all of this possible!


       Gary Knuckles is minister of the Briensburg Church of Christ in Briensburg, KY.