Today is usually a day for hot dogs, parades and festive celebrations of the birth of this wonderful nation we inhabit.[hr][dropcap]I[/dropcap] t should be … but in addition, I’d like to pay tribute to the men and women of our Armed Forces. Traditionally, we remember and honor them on Memorial Day, but on that occasion, we tend to focus on those who have made the ultimate sacrifice.
But today, we stand straighter because of their bravery and commitment. We shed tears for their innocence and selflessness as they put themselves in harm’s way for the country to which they give so much and from which they ask so little.
They aren’t encamped on a comfortable bar stool celebrating Independence Day. They’re carrying out their missions in unforgiving terrain, without electricity, plumbing or running water, with questions, maybe, but mostly with an unequivocal commitment to the cause for which they serve. Thank God there are young men and women prepared to serve, to commit rather than hesitate, so that we retain the power to meet the challenges that come our way and can enjoy this holiday in a peaceful manner.
Their sacrifices come under the most demanding circumstances we can imagine. They represent the finest spirit of dedication, courage and fortitude, everyday risking their lives, when in a single unscripted moment, they may be chosen to make the ultimate sacrifice.
Today and everyday, I honor them with humility, pride … and I’m certain, with your gratitude as well. Please take a moment from your celebrations today to pray for the safe return of the men and women in uniform, for the full recovery for those who have been wounded, and for a peaceful and rewarding eternity for those who have made the ultimate sacrifice.
Make it a great July 4th holiday with friends and family.