"I bear this cross with honor, 'cause freedom don't come free."
--Toby Keith, "American Soldier"
As you get ready for your picnics, your trips to the lake, your last-minute trip to the fireworks stand to get the last gross of bottle rockets and sparklers, I want you to stop and think for a minute about where you got your freedom on this Independence Day.
Did you get it from Barack Obama and George W. Bush? No.
Did you get it from media talking heads like Bill O'Reilly, Arianna Huffington, Rush Limbaugh, and James Carville? No.
Did you get it from organizations like the Sioux Falls Argus Leader, The New York Times, The Washington Post and USA Today? No.
Did you get it from celebrities like Brad Pitt, Paris Hilton, Bruce Willis, and Susan Sarandon? No.
Did you get it from academics from such places as Berkely, South Dakota State, Columbia University, Harvard and Dakota State University? No.
Did you get it from community organizers like ACORN? No.
Did you get it from bloggers like Todd Epp, Steve Sibson, Cory Heidelberger, Pat Powers, Dakota Women and me? No.
So where did you get your freedoms that you're celebrating today on this Independence Day?
We got them from the (mostly) men and women who have sacrificed their time, bodies, minds, and lives so that we can enjoy our lives in freedom and security. For 234 years, starting in Lexington and Concord, Massachusetts, these individuals sacrificed their blood, so we would not have to sacrifice ours. THEY won us the freedom to act like idiots with our lives... to mock our country and feign embarrassment to the rest of the world... to celebrate the morons that throw shoes at our Presidents....
...and the freedom to call the people who have fought and died for our freedoms morons, rednecks, butchers, brainwashed robots, rapists, and baby killers.
These people are our greatest heroes.... they suffered through the hellish winter of Valley Forge. They shed blood at Bull Run and Shiloh. They went through Hell on Earth at Normandy and Omaha Beach. And they are fighting off those who would do us harm in Iraq and Afghanistan.
These brave men and women are indeed heroes. They have put their lives on the line, doing something that the rest of us either can not or will not do. Defend and ensure our freedoms with their lives.
So as you get ready to light off your fireworks, or get ready to play volleyball, or get ready to bemoan the state of our country, take the time to think of the soldiers, sailors, and pilots who have given the ultimate sacrifice so that we will not have to.
Think of them... and thank them.