Sun sparkles silver on sprinkles of blue pool water… laughing children with heavy water guns filling the humid sky with chlorine mist. Satisfied and slow after a family meal – sorry to leave half of dessert on the plate. Sweet tea and summer. For this day we forget our troubles and remember what it is like to be free.
With great cost comes this gift. We remember those courageous men who put aside these happy moments of life to share in the goal of a common good for their brothers. We remember your sons who kept your smile and wondered if daddy would have been proud of who they grew to be. We remember your wives, seeing your face in the children as they grew year by year. Their tears carving out the meaning of liberty for all. We remember your daughters who wanted to marry a man like daddy. You live on in the monuments of history – the ideals of a people – the hearts of your kin. We only hope to be a people worthy of your service. A silent prayer lifts with twilight.
I hear a faint drum beating out across history with each firecracker… the cannon of war sounds. The rolling centuries hide in the shadow of pine and gunpowder smoke. Our heroes keep time … stepping forward in brave duty.
The drumming continues to lift with rockets of color in the night sky. It reminds us. It is the heartbeat of the free. Without it we would cease to be American.