It’s probably overstating it a bit to say that this Fourth of July had
Anyone who lived through the shock and horror of last September knew
that fireworks and festivities from this year’s Independence Day
celebrations would tug at our patriotic heart strings like never before.
It also was a time of special caution. Firefighters throughout the
Southwest are being taxed like never before as the some of the driest
years on record are giving way to fierce firestorms that have engulfed
hundreds of thousands of acres of timber and brush lands as well as
hundreds of homes. In Laguna last week, there was a frightening taste of
the familiar as a small fire erupted in Laguna Canyon but was contained
before it could do too much damage.
Still, that charred hillside is an aching reminder of the past and
what could be.
But the Fourth of July -- and this whole long weekend for those lucky
enough to have today off -- is an excellent time to reflect on just how
fortunate we are to live in one of the greatest nations on earth.
How fortunate we are to live in a country that values freedom and
human life and human dignity.
How fortunate we are that despite all of our disagreements, despite
our political and personal squabbles, the United States is as united as
ever and will never back down from any threat, terrorist or otherwise.
How fortunate we are to have those brave souls, firefighters,
policeman and others, who lost their lives trying to save others in the
How fortunate we are to have the greatest military in the world, many
of whom are now across the globe defending our freedoms, risking, and
even losing, their lives to protect those freedoms.
So, yes, keep all those blessings in mind this year, and once again we
hope you had a happy and safe Fourth of July.