Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy Independence Day

Its the 4th of July but it is just another day here at home. Today we will just veg out on the couch and watch tv, visit with family and later this evening watch the fireworks show at the nearby military base. We are lucky to live close enough that we will be able to sit on our back deck and not have to fight the crowds of people or cars to the see the fireworks.

I am proud to be an American especially when I remember the days of living in West Berlin and knowing that there was only a wall that separated such different ways of life. As a military spouse I was allowed to cross into the "East" on sightseeing tours and could even drive my POV (privately owned vehicle) across to shop, visit museums or to eat at one of the restaurants that were frequented by "westerners".

It was always so obvious that life was very different on the "other side", even the weather seemed more dreary. Of course that could have been because of the lack of color around you. In the West there were buildings with flower boxes in the windows with blooms that seemed to overflow from their containers, bright colors in the shop windows and an abundance of things to do. In the West people seemed happier and of course more expressive of views and ideas. Those were the days when I really began to realize what it meant to be an American, what freedoms we took for granted and how easy it was to ignore the fact that not all people lived like we did.

That was so many years ago and now there is no longer East and West Berlin but just Berlin. I left there in 1984 and returned in 1995 after the "Wall" came down. Life seemed so different and it was like visiting a new city instead of revisiting a former home. It has been so many years but the memories of "East" Berlin still come to mind when I think of how proud and thankful I am to be an American. My husband spent 26 years serving his country as an active duty soldier before he retired a few years ago, there were many holidays that were spent separated because he was enroute to a duty station or was on deployment. I am very proud of my husband for his time in service to his country and I am very proud to have been a military spouse.

I thank all of those that serve and all of the families that on this day are home alone waiting for the return of a loved one from a land so very far away. May God watch over your soldier, keep him/her safe and return them to the loving arms of family and friends.

May the freedoms that these brave soldiers make possible for us be remembered and appreciated on all days not just today. If you have a friend or family member that serves post a comment and let me know what you are doing today.

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