Tag Archives: Independence Day

Independence Day Celebration

We decided to start Independence Day right, sharing the community breakfast of pancakes, scrambled eggs, and sausage. It tasted … good, considering it had to be cooked earlier and kept as warm as possible outside. After that, we sat next to the street on folding chairs to watch the small-town parade. The horses were beautiful. The floats were mostly advertisements, but they threw candy to the children. We enjoyed watching the children scrambling to gather the candy into their bags. The little ones were cute.

After a rest and some card games with my family, we walked to the end of the street and watched the fireworks. Everything else was small town. Not the fireworks. They were great, flinging them into the sky in ones, twos, and sometimes sevens or eights, for nearly 20 minutes. We didn’t hear the “Ohs and Ahs” because we stood far away from where they shot them off. We didn’t need them to enjoy the display.

On the 6th, we climbed into the air conditioned car and drove to Zions National Park. We boarded the tram that takes visitors through the most popular part of the canyon, where private autos aren’t allowed. The tram was not air conditioned, and it was close to 105! As always, we still loved the rugged mountains, the clear streams, and the green trees. We drank all the water we brought with us, and still felt over-heated.

Even with the excessive heat, the views were amazing, as always. We decided to wait to go there again until … maybe October, or next March, when it’s cooler.


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And on another note, Finding Peace: Rebecca, Wife of Enos is available for your reading pleasure Friday, July 7—tomorrow. I think you will enjoy it!

What did you do to celebrate this summer?

Independence Day, How Will You Celebrate?

20150914_185748Independence Day is next Monday. Will you go to a party, swim, or shoot off fireworks? Will you watch a parade or join in community picnics and celebrations? All of these are great ways to celebrate.

We celebrate Independence Day on July 4th, in remembrance of the great men and women who declared independence from England in 1776, and then fought to secure that independence. They argued about their beliefs and finally compromised, creating the Constitution. These documents allow us the freedoms, 240 years later, to live in the way we would choose.

Unfortunately, politicians, foreign influencers, and citizens argue that safety is only found in giving up the freedoms our ancestors fought so hard to acquire. Each time there is a disaster or a terrorist attack, more freedoms erode. Those of us who argue for basic freedoms are chastised and criticized.

One of these basic freedoms is the freedom of religion, not just the right to worship as we please, but to freely exercise our religion in our daily life. One leader who stands for religious freedom spoke this week in a Freedom Festival Patriotic Service. He said, “There are concerted efforts to shame and intimidate believers who have traditional moral values and to suppress religious viewpoints and practices regarding marriage, family, gender and sexuality. Worst of all, government sometimes joins in these efforts.” (Elder D. Todd Christofferson, Apostle of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints)

We are all entitled to freedom of speech, both believers and non-believers. We have the right to stand for the things we believe in, without being taunted by those who don’t believe as we do. Each of the other rights guaranteed in the Constitution are important to fight for.

As you celebrate Independence Day next week, decide what you can do to support our freedoms. What can you do as an individual? What can you do as a small group? We may be few, but we can do something to support and defend our freedoms. What will you do?

Enjoy Your Freedom of Speech

Do you realize how lucky you are to live in the United States? Though we have lost freedoms in recent years, we continue to have more freedoms than those living in most other countries.

I am as disgusted by photos of people stomping on and burning our flag. But, those people have the right to do that and they do not fear arrest or other legal reprisal for their actions. Try abusing a flag in some of the countries under marshal law. It isn’t something you would even attempt.

Citizens of the United States can express their frustrations in many ways citizens of other countries would not consider. Check out social media, almost any opinion is available to read, from far left to far right, and everything in between. Everyone has an opinion, and most share it freely on Facebook, Twitter, and the multitude of other outlets for expression. Calls to elect are often beside calls to impeach or requests to change the time periods for elected officials. No one is arrested.

In the last weeks, a furor has arisen surrounding the Confederate battle flag. Masses have gathered to demonstrate both for and against the flying of the flag. Fist fights resulted as people from both sides lost control of their tempers. Some were arrested for disorderly conduct. None were arrested for expressing their opinions.

We have lost many of our freedoms in the name of “protection.” I fear the loss of more of our freedoms. For now, I am grateful we still have so many.

Happy Independence Day!