Since the fourth of July in 1776, our America has celebrated the independence of being one nation. In Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the congress met up and a committee was formed to draft a formal document stating that the 13 colonies would govern themselves because they didn't want taxation without representation. On July fourth, after all members of the committee had signed this document, we became an independent nation to now, do things for ourselves without being under the rule of King George III of Great Britain. The document is not just a piece of paper; it is a document in which stands for everything we know and love today.

Many celebrate this holiday with cookouts, parades, fireworks, etc. When we think of the fourth of July though, we often get an image in our minds of camouflage, a battle zone and the bravest of men, our United States Military. We visit the graves of our fallen heroes, we dress in the colors of our nation's flag, and we take time to reflect on our freedoms and rights and are thankful we have them. We are a country of political division though, and our rights and freedoms within our own states and a nation as a whole, are constantly voted on to make changes. Some believe that the Bill of Rights and the Constitution should be followed word for word, while others believe there is room for leeway, hence, the political divide. None, the less though, it is our country's system, and we like it, and we have a military willing to do anything and everything they can to defend our way of life.

This is a time to come together as family, friends and strangers alike and realize that we each have it more than pretty well here in the states. It is a time to honor the men and women that have fought and died, as well as the military personnel that are still fighting today to defend our freedoms. We listen to songs such as "God Bless America", by Lee Greenwood, "Born on the fourth of July", by John Mellencamp, as well as many other songs about this land we love. Our sky gets filled with fireworks, and the liberty bell rings loud for all to hear. It is on this day that we realize where our country has been and the sacrifices that were made, and a time to reflect upon the men and women that have dedicated their lives or part of their lives to serve in our military. It is a time to come together as one nation, and know that no matter what happens, good or bad, this is our land and we will not be defeated by anything.

To anyone reading this that is either a veteran or currently serving our country, I say Thank you. Thank you for the sacrifices you have made in the past, and for the sacrifices you are making now, or will make in the future. Without you, our country would not have such a history to be proud of, and we would not be able to continue to make history. You are among the bravest, most courageous, dedicated, compassionate and hard working people of our nation; you are the best of the best. On this Fourth of July, be proud, be proud of whom you are and what you've done and what you do, and know that no matter what happens, America is behind you!

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