Most of us celebrate Independence Day with our family and friends. We grill, swim, watch fireworks shows, play patriotic music, and enjoy the liberties that we have been given as Americans. As Americans we enjoy a multitude of rights and choices that other people in the world do not have.

If we take issue with something our government has done, we can speak out without fear of reprisal.  We can talk about, write about, and protest against our government. We have the right to petition our government. We can work together to change laws. Our news agencies are not ran by our government.  We can get independent news from a wide variety of sources.

We have the right to assemble in groups and let our opinions be heard. We can go to any church, synagogue, mosque, or temple that we want, to worship in the manner that we choose. We can choose to worship no deity at all if we want.

We still have troops in combat zones. We read about their deaths every week. There has always been trouble in Iraq and Afghanistan and in the middle east. I have a nephew that has served 10 years in the United States Air Force so far. He is somewhere that as his family we aren’t even allowed to talk about. We would like him home on this Independence Day. But he continues to serve as many other men and women do.

As you enjoy this holiday with your family, remember the many of Americans who are wishing their loved ones were home.

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