Since I was old enough to remember I have had a single favorite holiday.
There are some good ones out there. Christmas is the favorite for most; for the secular-minded the presents make the day and Believers know that it marks the day that the Son of God came into this world to seek and save. Many love Easter. Again, there is something for both the religious and the irreligious - God's sacrifice for the World and chocolate bunnies for those who don't believe. Thanksgiving is a wonderful holiday as well, a time to enjoy good food and share with loved ones.
As much as I love each of those, my favorite holiday is the reason we are able to celebrate those holidays the way we do. Without the holiday I am thinking of, we would have neither the means nor the freedom to indulge.
My favorite holiday is the 4th of July. It is the day that we celebrate the most incredible political document in history - the Declaration of Independence. It is the day that we celebrate the founding of the Nation that has brought more freedom and more prosperity to the world than any other.
When one truly understands what we were given by those admittedly imperfect men over 200 years ago, the only possible response is a sense of awe and wonder. History has proven their wisdom. Many around the world are jealous of the United States of America - I've talked with some of them just today. Many within the country feel the success of the nation is unjust and wish to destroy it in a vain attempt to make the rest of the world better - these fools now outnumber patriots in all branches of our federal government.
America is the best place in the world. I have pledged my life to do anything I can to keep it so. Today that pledge places me on an Army base just outside Baghdad. Tomorrow it may take me elsewhere, and where ever my country calls me, I will gladly go. I love the United States and its Constitution more than I love life itself. I love her the most for what she has to offer - especially to all those who hate her so. The model that took us to greatness is no secret, any and all can have the same. Those within America who rail against her are only afforded that ability because of the things they rail about - and the irony is lost on them.
This 4th of July, take a minute to think about all that we have that others do not. Bow your head and thank Providence for placing you in the greatest nation in human history. Think of those who have worked hard to make America great, think of those who have given all to keep her safe. Most of all, consider what your country asks of you in this time of greatest need. Take some time to teach your children the truth that the fireworks celebrate. Find a little money to send to a patriot running for office - help them to get elected to right the ship. Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton, Benjamin Franklin, John Hancock, James Madison, and all the others - they were just men - but men who stood up for what was right. Many of those who faced down King George suffered greatly for it. Not a tenth of that risk is asked of you. If you are able, are you not obligated?
God bless America, my home sweet home.
P.S. Watch some fireworks for me - I'm not actually hoping for any this year.