Since high school, I've had other friends who have enlisted in the military. One in the Air Force. Another in the Army. A friend's husband who is in the Navy. Each of these people have given freely of themselves in some way. They have sacrificed time with their family, missed out on important events, moved from place to place, postponed their education and the list goes on.
We also heard the story of a Marine who had been captured in Iran and sent to be imprisoned for 10 years. At last years event, his story was shared and the host (Montel Williams) pleaded with everyone to pray for the release of this Marine and to bring him home. It was his hope that he would be freed from prison and able to come to this years show with his family. Then, the audience began cheering loudly and clapping because this same Marine walked onto the stage. He had been freed from prison and allowed to return to his home, his country and his family. With emotion, he expressed his love and gratitude for his freedom, his country and the prayers he felt on his behalf while in prison. I know I was not the only one there with tears in their eyes. It was a beautiful and touching story.
I love this country. I love our freedoms. I love singing the national anthem and putting my hand over my heart as I look at the flag and recite the pledge of allegiance. We truly live in a beautiful land of liberty.
I hope you have a wonderful Independence Day!