"I've always dreamed of being an old philosopher. So far I've achieved one out of two!"

May God Bless the United States of America!

Memorial Day

Independence Day, July 4

The freedoms that I referred to in my Memorial Day tribute are those declared and celebrated in our Independence day (July 4) celebration. In a nutshell, Independence Day celebrates our Declaration of Independence from the British Empire as the United States of America.

A great deal has changed during the 230 years of our history. Things may not have turned out exactly as some people would like, but one thing is sure - this is one of only a few nations on earth that where there is a process (albeit slow and cumbersome) that allows change and evolution of the very nation it is. Even the process itself can be changed.

If things are not the way YOU would like it, then "Get your ASK in Gear" and do something about it! (ASK by the way is Attitudes, Skills and Knowledge.) And, while you are doing something, celebrate being part of a society whose members defend your right to disagree with them. An oxymoron? NO! A price that must be paid to be truly free!

If you can change the world - Change it!

If you can influence the world - Influence it!

If you can't change it and you can't influence it

Then accept it and quit complaining!

In case you were wondering (or forgot) how this independence came about and continues to exist and evolve, read on . . .

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Memorial Day

In the United States the last weekend in May is called "Memorial Day Weekend." It is set aside to remember those who gave the ultimate gift to others. So many millions of men and women have given their lives in so many wars for so many reasons it boggles the mind. Around the world there are many different beliefs and causes. For me, I choose to honor those who died establishing and defending the freedom we so casually take for granted in the United States.

On this weekend, if you enjoy the benefits of being able to worship as you choose, if you can go wherever you like and say whatever you want and if you are allowed by law to openly protest the law itself, then someone died for your right to do those things. Think of it - They gave all their freedom, their very existence, so that you and I would have the freedom they so dearly believed in.

We have our shortcomings in the USA. However, I believe we, as a nation, are closer to the ideal society God would desire for all people, than any other nation on earth. So, to all who are with their creator this day because they cared enough to defend this nation and its principles, I say "Thank you."

"Thank you" also, to every veteran who was wounded, mentally or physically, in those same efforts.

And finally, "Thank you" to those who survived, injured or not, for God has truly blessed you and must be expecting you to continue to do great things with your life.

Gerry Reid, May 23, 1996, updated 1997, 1998, 2000, 2001, 2006