Independence Day

This coming week we celebrate our Independence Day, July 4th. It is a good thing that we celebrate on this day and remember all who serve and who have served this nation's interests. Especially we remember our men and women in service during this time. The troops in Iraq, Afghanistan, Korea, and other places where they stand in harm's way. Young men and women of today stand alongside those ghostly figures from Bunker and Breed's Hills, Gettysburg, the Meuse Argonne, Iwo Jima, the Chosin Reservoir, the Tet Offensive, and the streets of the Middle East conflicts of today. All of them, past and present, are equally to be honored for their service.

Those who served whom I remember will stand large in my memory this week: the man next door who serviced machine guns in WWI, the dentist who lived on the other side of me who slipped ashore Pacific islands as a pre-invasion specialist in WWII, my wife's father who served a 75mm Recoilless Rifle and was wounded in Korea, my First Sergeant, Jimmy McClure who marched from Chosin in that horrible winter of the Korean Conflict, the Medal of Honor winner, Col. Peter Chambers whom I was fortunate to know, and others. All these, and more, have kept the torch of freedom alive so that we might enjoy the fruits of their sacrifices.

I hope you will join me in prayers for the safety of our service persons of today and for the memory of those gone before who have preserved the precious gift of freedom we enjoy. With all the challenges we face today and in the future, I pray that the gift of freedom will not be enjoyed by current and future Americans with blithe neglect, but with a sacred understanding of what a precious gift it is to be free. It is my hope that future generations far into the future will be able to stand beneath our flag and honor those who preserved their freedom.

May God bless us all in this free land, and may God bless America.

Curtis Rivers

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