We'll gather this week to celebrate the July 4th holiday with the usual array of food and fireworks - though I'm a bit old for the fireworks hoopla.
But that's the way we celebrate to mark the independence of this great nation and to celebrate the freedoms that this independence has brought.
Before I talk briefly about what this freedom means, let me say that I am currently sickened by the Supreme Court ruling this week on Obamacare. This new "tax" on individual mandates concerning health care coverage can only be interpreted as one more erosion of freedom and one more step closer to government control of every aspect of our lives.
In the backdrop of this magnificent July 4th celebration, my emotions are tempered by this massive intrusion into our lives and the removal of yet another choice of freedom for the American people.
But that aside, I am struck by the lack of understanding and appreciation that this holiday brings.
The reality is that young people today have such a limited understanding of why we actually celebrate Independence Day.
For far too many, this holiday is at best a murky reason to explode fireworks and eat way too much.
Lost in this celebration is the meaning for the holiday itself. Few among us take the time to think about why we celebrate and what it means in our lives.
Granted, we teach in our schools the significance of the 4th of July. But being honest, we teach a host of issues to our children that are soon forgotten or loosely understood.
Can you imagine the sacrifice of those brave men who declared our independence? They put all on the line for this country and many paid a price few would today be willing to pay.
So between the fireworks and the food, take just a moment to celebrate the true reason associated with our celebration. The sacrifices made that allow us to celebrate were substantial enough to warrant our gratitude.
That's the very least we can do.