Barbie Perkins-Cooper, Author

Living Life in the Country As A Writer, Photographer

Today, America celebrates Independence Day, or as everyone calls it, “The Fourth of July.” Today is a day to give thanks and appreciation to our independence, expressing our appreciation to our Armed Forces.

For you, the Armed Forces of the United States of America, I say thank you. Thank you for your willingness and passion to serve America during this horrific time of Twenty-first Century war. You stand in the hot zones, ready and willing to fight for your country so we, the citizens of these United States can pop fireworks, drink a bit too much, eat much too much and consider ourselves blessed because we are a free nation.

How I wish the fireworks would end. My husband is a Vietnam Veteran. Every time he hears fireworks, he jumps — sometimes to the ground. Yes, he apologizes for his actions. He doesn’t need to apologize. He is having a flashback of war — of the sounds of mortars, weapons, and the enemy approaching. Never have I been in a war so I can not relate to his fears, but on the Fourth of July, I do my best to make him comfortable. We stay away from the fireworks displays. Occasionally, I’ll step in to the back yard to see them bursting in the skies, and I say a prayer of thanksgiving. Thankful that we in America have the freedom we have — all at the emotional price of our soldiers in harm’s way.

To our soldiers, I say thank you and may God bless you. To America, I say — let us all give our thanks while enjoying the bounty that we have, along with the freedom. Happy Fourth of July. Happy Independence Day. Be safe and thankful for the United States of America.

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