…I think of my son, who fought to protect our freedoms in search of Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan, the rights of the people in Iraq to self-determine their form of government, and then the rights of the Afghan people to hold free and fair elections in their country.

…I think of the still-smoldering rubble of the World Trade Center as I flew over it the week after 09/11 and how sad I felt about the fall of the landmark I had visited so many times.

…I think of military members and their families throughout history, sacrificing much to fight for freedoms across the world.

…I think of my German born and raised parents, and how proud they were the day they became citizens of the United States of America, and how much they loved this country.

…I think of women, people of color, children, the elderly, the poor, the diseased and any other human being who is treated as a person of lesser value simply because of their gender, color, age, poverty, or illness.

…I think of our political process and how proud I feel after an election, no matter the outcome, simply because I have the right to participate by casting a vote.

…I think of my writing and how fortunate I am to live in a country where the citizens can express opinions without worry over retribution.

…I think of our Founding Fathers and how brave they were to declare independence of the thirteen colonies from the rule of Great Britain.

What do you think of when you think of freedom?

“The cost of freedom is always high, but Americans have always paid for it. And one path we shall never choose, and that is the path of surrender, or submission.” -John F. Kennedy

Join the conversation. Join the movement. Follow WhyWeCelebrate on Twitter and post messages using the hashtag #WhyWeCelebrate.  Join the Facebook page and post messages of what Independence Day means to you. If you’re travelling and see a Soldier, Airman or Marine along the way, thank them for their service. If you have your own blog, share a message about why we celebrate on July 4th.

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