Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Independence Day

James Ellery, John (Jack) Ellery, William Ellery

Generally, I stay away from any topic that might even hint at politics - I have been relatively apolitical now for almost 30 years - and am personally happier that way. This is a day, however, for being thankful. Thankful for a country where were are blessed with plenty and with freedoms and with the ability to have choices.

I spend time each Independence Day giving thanks to my ancestor, William Ellery, who was a signer on the Declaration of Independence from Rhode Island (I like to fantasize that he knew Thomas Jefferson well - I think Thomas Jefferson was an amazing person!) ,to my three uncles who were in World War II (photo above), and to all of the troops who are fighting on foreign soil to keep us safe and free at home.

As a former member of the "protest" generation during the Viet Nam War I have done a lot of thinking along the way about those years, about that war and about the troops that gave of themselves during that time. Protests have a place - that's part of the freedom that we enjoy as American citizens. The troops are the ones however that are FIGHTING for freedom. I am fairly certain that many of them do not want to be where they are or doing what they are doing. It is their JOB and was their CHOICE. I am also sure that there are various reasons that one chooses to join the military - some reasons more plebeian that altruistic. A step mother, who was a former Marine Corp sargent, once suggested to me (at 16) that I should join the military to get "order & discipline" in my life. Hummmm - I might have lasted a day ! In hindsight ,however, I now understand what she was really suggesting .. she could have just said "wake up and get a grip ". It's our troops who are facing the reality of war. No one buys into the reality of the atrocities of war - no matter how ready they may think they are to be soldiers and warriors. I cannot imagine the things that soldiers have to see and do. I don't want to imagine. I do ostrich well

This may sound somewhat like a very conservative commentary - but I still consider my self a "conservative liberal". I distinctly remember when I added the 'conservative' part to that equation..but that's another story.

Today I just want to thank my ancestor, my family and our troops for honoring the memory and the values that our fore fathers believed in and risked everything to attain....our RIGHT to be free and our right to have choices. It's a wonderful premise for a country and although we ARE far from perfect - we have a proud heritage that I am grateful to be a part of.

Blessing to all and HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY !

1 comment:

Vicki W said...

Well said. I love the 4th of July but I a grateful every day that I had ancestors that came to the US so that I could be born here generations later.

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