Tuesday, July 3, 2007

IT'S INDEPENDENCE DAY!



Some weeks ago, I was out and about town doing errands when the hunger Monster struck in the back seat. Poor little starving urchins that they were, I agreed to pull into the Wendy's drive-thru for the oh-so-healthy chicken nuggets and chocolate milk. When I got up to the window, the gal at the register said, "that will be $17.76." I smiled and replied, "hey, that was a GOOD year!". Blank stare in response. I went on, "you know, July 4th? 1776? Declaration of Independence?" She was obviously embarrassed and said, "I'm sorry; I just didn't know that. Guess I didn't learn much." As I pulled away from the window, I felt so SAD; not a 'snooty' kind of 'holier than thou' SAD; just that sadness that comes from the realization that education is so lacking these days. How can we know where we're headed if we don't understand where we've been? And how SAD that any American, working class girl or not, should miss out on the amazing story that surrounds the birth of our great nation! My kids have been studying about the Revolutionary War and right now are in the 'fact' stage of taking in all this information. Still, I try not to ever miss an opportunity to stress to them the beautiful gift that is our freedom.

Last week, we took a multi-generational Family Vacation to the Washington, D.C. area, as well as over to Gettysburg, PA. How many kids can say they toured great pieces of American history with their parents, grandparents, and Great-grandparents?!? I know this will be a treasured memory for them someday. As I endeavored to prepare them for many of the sights that we would see, particularly in Arlington Cemetery with the Changing of the Tomb Guard, etc., I saw a little bit of perplexity (is that a word?) on their faces. I can't remember which one said it first, but the question was asked, "Mommy if we won our freedom (referring to their study of the Revolutionary War), then why did all these people have to keep fighting?" I cannot begin to tell you the lump that formed in my throat! So simple a question, and yet so profound! YES! We won our freedom, but it is a fight that will never stop being fought. Our fore-fathers gave us the gift, but it is a gift that must ever be contended for, continually guarded and protected from an enemy that surely would seek to take it from us. As we looked out over those some 450,000 simple white stones of Soldiers, Marines, Sailors, Airmen, Nurses, Justices, and so many more, I was reminded once again of the incredible sacrifice that has been and continues to be paid. I salute them all and I honor them on this Independence Day. How honored we were to have my Papaw, Korean War Purple Heart Veteran, along with us for this trip and to see the seriousness with which he took it all in. He gave a leg in the struggle for freedom in Korea and still the flag flies high in front of his home. No bitterness, only pride. I am so thankful that he has passed that pride on down to future generations.

So today I say with renewed appreciation: HAPPY BIRTHDAY, AMERICA!

The day after the Declaration was signed in 1776, John Adams, wrote these words in a letter to his wife, Abigail. "I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance by Solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this continent to the other from this Time forward forevermore."

Was he right or what?!? Well, I have SO much more I could say about our trip, but I think I'll put that off for now and just leave you with some pics. May your July 4th Celebrations be marked with renewed gratitude for the gift of FREEDOM that is ours!














26 comments:

Sonja said...

Welcome back, Tara! It looks like you had a great time. Your kids are very blessed to have these memories. Bravo to you for teaching them our history. How important that we know where we came from. Love the pics. Thanks for sharing.

Kimberly said...

Glad you're back!!:) And the trip looks great..and I can imagine the amount of effort involved, although I know ya'll were happy to do it..Priceless Experience!Love to all!

~Heather~ said...

Welcome home, Tara, we missed you!! Glad to get your comment on my blog! Thanks for your prayers for my Grandma, I do want her to get better and be able to attend her own 100th Birthday party on Friday, if it's God's will!

Loved your post and all of the neat pics! That is sooo neat that all of y'all got to go on that trip...what a lifetime memory!! Very true...all you said!! THERE WAS AND IS A HUGE PRICE FOR OUR FREEDOM!!
Take care,
Love, Heather =)

Kelly S said...

Happy to have you back! I missed ya girl. Thanks for the reminder of what today is all about. I'm working today and after reading your blog, realized I've sent my kids off with their Daddy to see a parade and didn't discuss with them yet what the day is all about. David and I have talked about taking the kids to Washington D.C. soon. Sounds like a very educational/fun vacation. Great field trip!

Making Memories 1999 said...

Thank you, Tara, for an inspiring post!! I agree with your sadness at the lack of knowledge about our country. I look forward to relearning (or learning, for that matter o' fact!) with our children as we study the history of this great nation!!

What a wonderful privilege your children had of touring such great places with parents, grandparents and great-grandparents!!! What GREAT memories you all made, I'm sure!! Thanks for sharing!!

Making Memories 1999 said...

By the way, I forgot to mention that I had some of your famous Ale 8, while in KY this past weekend for a family reunion!! Bought a case, and still have two bottles to enjoy later. Thought you might want to know!!! :-)

~Heather~ said...

Hey Tara, thanks for your sweet comment! Yes, it's been sort of a SAD, lonely 4th of July...for we miss the USA on days like this, and yes you are right that Phillip is gone. But I've tried to scrapbook today, to help me not be so lonely!

Sorry, I cannot help you with a recipe for a lemon pound cake, I don't have one. I have a good pound cake recipe, but not lemon. I went on line, on google, and typed in lemon pound cake and lots of recipes came up...I hope one of them work for you, if you decide to go that direction! Sorry!! =)

Have a great night,
Love, Heather =)

The Grahams said...

Tara,
I don't read your blog. Lisa does. She thought you might be interested to know that Dave Dorsett and I had breakfast this morning at the Cracker Barrel in Greensboro. Ok, so maybe that's not all that interesting. Our total? $17.76.
Andrew

Jody J said...

It looks like you had a great time while making it an historical lesson for the kids. That is awesome! I haven't been to Washington D.C. since I was probably 8. I'll never forget the things I saw there, though. It was an awesome experience.
Enjoyed seeing pics of your family!

Tara said...

Good to hear from all of you, as always! Hope you all enjoyed your holiday.
Thanks for all the nice comments on our trip and pics. It was fun and educational. We really want to try to go back sometime on a weekend, just because we couldn't fit it all in, AND the museum of American History was closed for repairs or something. I really wanted to go there. And you have to have 30 days notice for a White House tour through your Congressman. I contacted ours for a reserved spot....29 DAYS BEFORE! But there are no exceptions since 9/11. Thanks a lot, Bin Laden. My family had a wonderful VIP tour when I was a kid.
Andrew: thanks so much for stopping by! I enjoyed your little story very much. Derek said you should save the receipt. Say "hi" to Lisa for me. We just never know who's lurking in this world, do we?!? :)
Becca: Ah, you done me heart good! I knew I loved ya for a reason! Enjoy your precious stash, but look out for that dark-haired Vision girl. She just might snag one from ya! (where is she, anyway??)

Toots said...

I'm in Canada right now, and we missed the 4th. : (
You helped remind me though. Thanks!
Talkin' about "school field trips!" They don't get better, do they!? It was really nice to see your pictures.

Marty said...

So glad to read your blog!! It is no longer the 4th, but my heart hurt when I was reminded about the lack of knowlege in the American people. I'm trying to change that one family at a time...starting with mine. I loved the vacation pics...I found tears in my eyes! I would so love to go with my family! You are so very blessed! Thank you so much for sharing! I love you tons!

Juwah said...

Tara friend;

You are a wordsmith! Very inspiring post. We are a blessed people. By the way, the picture of your grandpa is my favorite.(Anyone who knows a Marine had to smile at that picture.)

Juwah said...

PS
Becca come over with those ALE 8's and I'll feed some to the slugs in the sweet potato patch. It ought to kill them.

Tara said...

ohhhhh, Julia Lynn............You have CROSSED THE LINE this time, girl. First with the nice little compliment and then WHAM--kick where it hurts. Tsk, tsk, tsk....

Tara said...

And, Marty: thanks for your very NICE, true friend comment. It warmed my heart. And I love you tons, too.

jenny said...

Tara, just wanted to let you know that on our way to the fireworks we were reviewing our American history with the kiddos last night--and, thanks to your post, definitely stressed the year 1776!

Your writing really was superb on this post--and the pics were moving. Loved the story about your grandpa and seeing him wave proudly above the marine slogan.

Barry Dingle said...

"sob" What a MOOOVing tribute to family and friends! As I read your blog, I cried and cried . . . peeling onions is sure no fun, but somebody's got to do it.

I guess I'm a little sentimental today anyway. My favorite cow, "Meat" just died. Ohhhh the memories I've had with Meat. I remember it was like yesterday that I saw him the first time, all skinny and gangly. He had lost his tongue in a lawn mower when he was young. We got him all nice and fat though. We fed him vanilla pudding for 6 years.

It was a great relationship, but as I told Meat yesterday, we all have to eventually be someone's July 4th hamburger. He tasted great, just like I knew he would.

Happy July 6th, everyone!

Tara said...

Barry, you need serious help. Did you have a grandma named Erma?

Viola said...

I think his grandma's name was Ima. I remember when Barry would say her name wrong. He'd say, "Grandma Erma" and she would always say, "Ima Dingle, Barry!"

Kimberly said...

I'll join you on the weekend trip to DC (and promise not to sing liberal BS songs:)! Actually, that would be a very cool place for us to meet up, wouldn't it??!!!

Tara said...

Kimber: you got yourself a DEAL! That sounds marvelous.

"BS songs"....LOL!!!!

~Heather~ said...

Thanks, Tara, for your sweet comments about my scrapbooking. When I first was introduced to scrapbooking, my dear friend, LuAnn, introduced me to Creative Memories, and I LOVE THEIR STUFF! Thanks to God and some dear friends, I have a lot of fun "CM" things to use. I use their albums, tape and pens, and some of their papers, etc. but then I also find my papers and stickers whereever I can find them cheap! =)
Have a wonderful night, and it was fun hearing from you!
Love, Heather =)

~Heather~ said...

Tara,
I forgot to add, that one of the things that I learned to love about Creative Memories, and learned to do from them...is the JOURNALING! It's fun to read what happened and see the great pics too! =)

Love, Heather =)

kayla said...

I wondered where you were. Glad you had a good time.

Marty said...

Ok...someone PLEASE fill me in on this Barry Dingle...it is driving me crazy!!!