brave

I think that one of the things most people look forward to in mid-summer is Independence Day. Of course, the normal holiday for many people is filled with picnics, fireworks, and celebration of our freedom. Many of us consider the price that was paid in the Revolutionary War to win our freedom from England, and then our thoughts move on to the many wars the United Stares has fought into keep our freedoms, and to win freedom for oppressed nations around the world. It’s a noble thing our soldiers do, often with little thanks from those they help. And all too often, their work is quickly forgotten or even protested by those who do not understand how important it is not to give away our freedoms to those who do not share our values.

Whatever a person’s politics are, or even if they don’t participate at all, pretty much everyone celebrates Independence Day. It is a beloved holiday in this country. It’s a day to celebrate who we are as a nation….the land of the free, and the home of the brave. The fireworks are to remember the rockets that were used in the battle for our independence. The patriot soldiers fought hard against the British, never giving up, even if they lost their lives in the battle. The danger was worth the risk. They could no longer be slaves to the British. They were being taxed without representation, and unmercifully. It was time for the United States to become it’s own nation. I don’t think the British have any inkling that they would lose the Revolutionary War. It was like being beaten by your child. How could that “kid” actually have grown enough to beat them…and yet, the “kid” had not only fought against the “parent” country, but they won. They fought and now we’re free!!

Since they won, we have something wonderful to celebrate on July 4th…our independence. When I think of the alternative, I cringe. It’s not that I hate England, because, in fact, I don’t. I have relatives there, including in the royal family, so I don’t hate England, but we were just different. Our values and ideals were different. We could not peacefully co-exist the way we were, And yet, now that we are two separate nations, we are allies. We had to be equals in order to be allies. We had to have their respect, as a free nation, and we got it. We have been a respected, free nation since that day…July 4, 1776. And that is why we still celebrate our independence. Happy Independence Day everyone!!

The United States has been involved in many wars in our history. Our military personnel have placed themselves in harm’s way so many times for the rights of others and for freedom from tyranny. American soldiers and their allies around the globe stood up for what was right. They fought against those who would take away the rights of others, and steal the resources of other nations. They didn’t ask why they were being sent to these places, they knew. Human rights were being stomped on and the people being tourtured and killed could not stand up for themselves. They would either continue to be abused, or someone would come to their aid. That someone would be a soldier, because that is the job these brave men and women signed up to do.

My dad, aunts, and uncles either fought in World War II, or worked in the shipyards to help with the war effort. Others have fought in such wars as Viet Nam, Korea, Desert Storm, and others. Many have served during peace time. It doesn’t matter how they served, our veterans stood and still stand always at the ready…willing to lay down their lives for people they don’t know…willing to be away from their own family, because they knew that their job was important. Their job is still important today. Whether we are fighting in Iraq, Afganistan, Iran, Lybia, or wherever tyranny lives, and freedom is being oppressed. If that is where they are needed, then that is where they will go, and they will do their very best work…they will give it their very best, and some will give all they have. That is just what brave men and women do.

Today is Veteran’s Day. It is a day to honor those brave men and women, who have done so much for us and for so many other people and nations around the world. There is no way that we can ever repay you for all you have done for us. We will continue to pray for your safety every day. Thank you so much for your service to us, your country, and the world.

I had hinted toward a story a few days ago, and I think today is a good day to take that one further. My niece, Ashley is a very good mom to her daughter, Reagan, and to her little animal children. Everyone needs to be cleaned up and polished. Ashley was this way even before Reagan was born. So every so often, the puppies and kitties must have a bath. Now we are all used to puppies having a bath, but I had never known anyone who gave their kitties a bath before. In fact, thought that was rather dangerous…for the one bathing the cat.  I mean, cats have sharp teeth and claws.

In fact, that danger is something Ashley found out periodically, when her cat scratched or even bit her for doing something the cat didn’t like. I have to say that Ashley is a brave woman to keep coming back. I think that after a cat bit me, I would most likely be too nervous to stick that cat back in the tub, but Ashley and Eric want the cat to be a well rounded kitty. Once again, ok, but I think I would probably find a different way to round him out. Ashley is a very brave girl.

I would expect the cat to not like her very much after, what he might consider such mistreatment, but somehow the cat, as well as all her other animals, love Ashley to pieces. They somehow look at the cat bath as…well, maybe just an Ashley-ism, and so even if their cat friends don’t have to take a bath, it’s ok, because they know their mommy loves them, and maybe their friends are just not loved quite as much as they are. On that, I would have to almost agree. Maybe their cat friends are loved as much, but they certainly are not loved more than Ashley loves her cats, dogs, and horses, because that would be impossible.

Ashley has been an animal lover all her life, and every animal she has ever been around knows that very well. She cuddles, and pampers, bathes and then dolls up her pets, until they are among the most handsome you have ever seen. They look and feel very loved, because they most certainly are.

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