“Perhaps it’s fate that today is the Fourth of July and you will once again be fighting for our freedom…Not from tyranny, oppression,or persecution but from annihilation. We are fighting for our right to live. To exist.” —Bill Pullman as President Thomas J. Whitmore from the movie Independence Day
Independence Day will have a different feel to it this year as the normal world we used to know has changed so much this year.
As much as things have changed, some haven’t, which has led to people expressing their frustration with both peaceful protest and violent forms of expression.
This day is normally filled with barbeques, shopping, fireworks and just a whole lot of fun under the sun but with COVID-19 cases spiking by the day, those activities will be reduced to smaller events, and in some cases, cancelled.
Just because those things aren’t going to be happening as much as in years past, we should not let it distract us from the fact that it’s still the day we celebrate our Independence.
The 4th of July is different for me as I am an active duty member of the Marine Corps and have been for the last twenty-two plus years and counting.
Growing up, I didn’t know how important it was to understand the liberties we have here in our country until I visited other parts of the world and saw how different life is in other places.
I spent my first fourth of July on a Navy vessel while on a deployment in Europe two months before 9/11. My brother was physically at the Pentagon while I was still on the vessel near the Middle East on 9/11 but that is a different story for another day.
There were two other fourth of Julys that I spent in a combat zone, in Iraq and in Afghanistan. The funny thing is that the enemy knew how important that day was for us and tried to find ways to disrupt the positive vibes we had because July 4 was a reminder of why we were there in the first place.
My leaders during both of those times were instrumental in ensuring that the sacrifices we were making while being there were for everyone back home that was sending us well wishes on a daily basis.
We all have different views on various topics but the one thing that we can all agree on is that the 4th of July is a day to celebrate our independence and hopefully that will get us to respect one another while getting positivity to trend across the country.
I want to wish all a happy and safe 4th of July.