One of our featured artists, Monica Scott, has put together a beautiful music video “America the Beautiful” accompanied by pictures and film footage of men and women who have served or are currently serving in the military. The video also depicts those who love and honor our great nation and salute the flag raised high symbolizing that we are still the land of the free and the home of the brave. Her magnificent arrangement combined with the video is a perpetual reminder to us all that the celebration of Independence Day is more than just another celebration.

To Our Comrades in ArmsAs we celebrate this Independence Day, let us pause to give thanks to Him, who has preserved and made us a great nation. Let us never forget nor dare take for granted that the precious freedoms that we so dearly cherish, have never been, and are not now – FREE. Every flag-draped coffin that arrives in a hometown carrying the body of a fallen soldier should be a constant reminder to us all of this very fact.

Our liberty and freedom come with a hefty price tag. The valiant men and women who now don, or have in the past donned, a military uniform leaving behind those things dearest and precious to them to serve in the United States Armed Forces worldwide pay that price in full with the sacrifice of their lives. Many do return home to their families and loved ones at the end of their tour of duty. However, there are still numerous who give up their lives – their last full measure of devotion – to protect our shores and to preserve our liberty. We may never know all of their names, but history will forever bear record that these honorable men and women are all real American heroes.

Thank You to the Men and Women Who ServeThis author was both blessed and honored to serve this great nation of ours for 30 years in the United States Navy. I served for 20 years on active duty and ten years in the Fleet Reserve being honorably retired from the United States Armed Forces on 1 September 2010 with my name officially added to the United States Navy Retirement List. During my time of active duty service, I had many impressive accolades bestowed upon me. However, I did not serve this nation merely for the recognition. I, like others who now serve or have served, love and honor my homeland and stand ready to do whatever it takes to protect her shores from enemies both foreign and domestic. We also hold the flag which represents this nation in high esteem, for it is not just a piece of cloth, but it is a representation of the men and women who have valiantly and unselfishly given their lives in defense of the country that they also loved.

As we celebrate Independence Day, let us pause for a solemn moment of prayer giving thanks for those who stand a vigilant watch by day and by night, by land, air, and sea. And let us ask the Great Commander-in-Chief to watch over them, protect them, and to bring them back home safely to reunite with family and loved ones. This author humbly salutes our comrades in arms, and will always be reminded of and will never forget the myriad of unsung fallen heroes who gave their last full measure of devotion. May God bless the men and women of the United States Armed Forces and may God forever bless the United States of America.

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