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Remember why you're celebrating
Military spouse
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Amidst the creaking of rides, the wafting scent of funnel cake and the happy cheers of children, it’s easy to think Fort Stewart’s Independence Day celebration is just like any other carnival. Long lines, big crowds and a familiar carnival tune all play into the illusion. However, if you look closer, you’ll see families dedicated to the country they live in.
You hear the exchange of two soldiers, swapping stories about their tours in Iraq. You hear wives comparing their husbands’ return dates. And you see families enjoying what’s left of their time together before a deployment, happily whole in the stress of pre-deployment, if only for the afternoon.
At Independence Day celebrations throughout the nation, people everywhere will forget what we’re celebrating and why. They’ll get caught up in the rides, the cotton candy and the fireworks displays. People will be oblivious to the price of freedom and ignore the continuous effort it takes to keep that freedom in tact.
But some will remember. Some have seen that price paid firsthand. Some have sacrificed and lived a life dedicated to the freedom of their nation. Some will show pride in their nation and the people who serve it.
I’ve never before seen more of those people than at the Independence Day celebration on Fort Stewart. Because whether they were holding an exhausted baby or standing in line for fresh lemonade, when the speakers played that familiar tune at 1700, every soldier stopped what they were doing and turned to pay respect to the flag.
That’s what Independence Day is all about. It’s about the freedom of our great nation and the sacrifice and dedication of the soldiers who keep us free. So today, I’m proud to be an American, and I hope you are, too.

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