July is here and the celebration of our country's Independence Day, the 4th of July. Even with all the issues we face and have faced, we have much to be thankful for. We live in the country that provides the most freedoms of any country in the world. Yes, we have our problems, our disagreements, and our challenges, but remain the country everyone else envies and wants to move to.
So, what are you planning for this special day? For years my wife and daughters did our "traditional" celebration by running the world's largest 10 kilometer road race; the Peachtree in Atlanta. We would finish (not all together however), get back to our vehicle and stop for a good breakfast. Then a trip home to shower and clean up and back down to local street fairs and finally the fireworks to end the evening.
There are likely similar options out there for everyone. Whether running or walking, visiting street fairs, or closing the evening with fireworks, get out and celebrate this most important day in our history. If you want to tie in your outdoor activities to the celebration look for special events in or around your lakes, rivers, or federal, state and local parks. Picnic with family and friends. Spend the weekend either prior to or following camping and start or continue the celebration. Don't forget the flags.
Look for activities that recognize the sacrifices made for our independence by our military veterans; parades, memorial celebrations, dedications and fund raising activities may all occur within your community that recognize the sacrifices made by those many millions who have fought for our freedoms.
Look for activities that help maintain parks and recreation areas. Many times you will find local volunteer groups who will take the special day to complete projects to improve our trails, streams and lakes. A day of labor on this special holiday is little in the way of sacrifice compared to what others have given.
However you decide to celebrate the fourth, make safety a first priority. Often during special holidays we see accidents that have devastating effects on families on what should be a day of great fun. If boating make sure everyone has a flotation device and keep the alcohol on shore and not on the water. Don't take chances with fireworks; enjoy the displays provided in your local community that are handled by professionals. Don't use firearms to celebrate; we've seen a number of instances where individuals have been hit, some killed, by idiots deciding that firing a gun into the air is a good way to celebrate the 4th.
It doesn't matter what you finally decide to do on this special day but whatever it is, do it with family and or friends. Enjoy the activities together and celebrate the greatness of our country and the freedoms we cherish.