How to Make a More Meaningful 4th of July

Last Update: July 03, 2013
July 4th is one of the most celebrated holidays in the United States and with good reason this is the holiday when we can enjoy the things that makes the United States great. This year, as we come to July 4th, still embroiled in a war that is costing us some of our best and most dedicated citizens. I'm sure that your BBQ's are great and festive, but how to make a more meaningful 4th of July?
1. Say Thanks: When you're out buying yet another bag of ice, one more case of...soda, and all the wonderful party foods and you see a member of the military or a veteran just say "Thank you". These people work long hours, terrible schedules, and for very little money. (I know because my sister in law is in the military) You can recognize the military by the uniform obviously, or if you live in a military town you're probably familiar with the military haircuts and can pick out a solider even out of uniform. Many veterans will wear their ball caps with their former rank on them, some wear parts of their old uniform, some have POW pins. These people sacrificed much and these days get little in return. The exchange will take thirty seconds...you'll say thanks and they'll say no problem. You might forget about in a day or so, but the military person will remember.

2. Give Back: Maybe after you say thanks to the woman in uniform behind you, tell the cashier that you want to pay for her bag of ice, or pick up a tab at a restaurant. If you want to get your whole party in on the giving here's a great idea: Charge a cover fee for entrance to your party. I'm talking about $1.00 or so. Not a big deal, maybe you could just have people empty their pocket change into a jar. Then take that money to the nearest base. There are numerous charities and services on base that help out soldiers when they need it most. You can buy gift certificates to military stores that will be handed out to wounded soldiers overseas. The possibilities are nearly limitless and the gratitude of families and soldiers who receive these blessings will be limitless as well.

3. Teach R-E-S-P-E-C-T: If you're at a downtown party and hear the National Anthem, quiet your party down, and have everyone stand up. Teach your child to stand up and stand still during this process and during the Pledge of Allegiance. While we're at it, do you know the words to the National Anthem? Does your child? You should. Corral your child for a minute and talk about what the 4th of July is about, besides the fireworks. Just hit the high points in three simple sentences: "A long time ago in America a government far away told people what to do and they had to do it no matter what. We wanted to be free and we had to fight for it. Now we're free to live and think as we please and we are so lucky."

4. Be free: This is why solders join the military. They don't all agree with the war, the politics, or their leaders. They're free thinkers just like you, but they do believe in freedom. So, just say thank you, give a little bit, teach and show respect, and above all enjoy your freedom. Enjoy the fireworks, drink a cold...soda and enjoy the blessings of being an American, no matter what your politics are. Happy July 4th, God Bless America and be Safe out there.
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rohan131165 Premium
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danbarth87 Premium
Thanks for sharing this, man!
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