Celebrating independence and freedom

Published 10:10 pm Wednesday, July 3, 2013

By Chris A. Quilpa

Today, our nation celebrates Independence Day. The Stars and Stripes will be proudly displayed everywhere. Outdoor festivities will be held to celebrate the greatness and independence of America, the land of the free.

Amidst our fun-filled celebration, let’s pause for a moment and remember our valiant veterans who have sacrificed for our sake, the men and women of the armed forces who are deployed or stationed here and on foreign shores, who are fighting for and preserving the freedom we cherish and enjoy.


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Let’s give thanks to our veterans for their service to our country. Above all, let’s thank God for the bountiful blessings we have received and continue to receive. And, in unison, let’s say this simple prayer: God bless America!

What comes to mind when we think of July 4? Fireworks? Family outings, picnics in the park? Hamburgers and hotdogs with family and friends on the porch or in the backyard? A day off from work? The most spectacular summer event filled with fun and frenzy? All of the above?

Since July 4 falls on Thursday this year, many workers out there probably plan to take Friday off, so they have a four-day holiday weekend. Undoubtedly, many of us will be on the road to summer getaways somewhere. And once again, we’re amazed to see the beaches, resorts, theme parks and oceanfront teeming with visitors from other places.

To those will be picking up the slack after July 4, I offer my sincere appreciation. Kudos and more power and good health to you all, especially to our armed forces, police officers, and healthcare providers. My two thumbs are up for your service and dedication.

The annual celebration of Independence Day in the United States commemorates the formal adoption by the Continental Congress of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, in Philadelphia. Although the signing of the Declaration was not completed until August, the Fourth of July holiday has been accepted as the official anniversary of U.S. independence from Britain, and is celebrated in all 50 states, and territories of the U.S., including Guam and Puerto Rico.

In celebrating the 4th of July, I’d like to share with you my poem below:


The Fourth of July

I was born on the Fourth of July.

Each year, I celebrate my freedom,

My independence and liberty —

Cherished and enjoyed by all,

My people of different colors

From all corners of the world,

Who desire to live with me

To share with me their hopes

Their sentiments and frustrations,

Their dreams and aspirations

To make our world a better place;

To let others live and be free,

United and liberated, like me.


With pride and power,

Valor and vigilance,

I celebrate my birthday

With fond memories of my past,

My history that I inherited

From my forebears and forefathers;

The history that I wrought

For all generations to keep.


With spectacular fireworks all around

And parade of colors here and there,

My independence reigns everywhere

And I exult with glee and jubilation;

With open arms and loving heart

I welcome all who seek refuge,

Who long for peace and brotherhood,

Offering everyone my freedom,

Justice, liberty, and democracy

Pride, power, and prosperity,

Beauty, equality, and security…

Wishing all a fair and equal share

Of all my blessings from Above!


Today is a very special day

To commemorate my independence;

A day of unity and victory,

Remembering our men and women

Who sacrificed their precious lives

From wars fought and won,

From crises overcome and resolved…

A day of thanksgiving for all

Who served and are serving me,

Protecting me and other’s lives,

Keeping me strong and always ready

To watch, care, and lead our world!


Happy Fourth of July!

CHRIS A. QUILPA is a retired U.S. Navy veteran and long-time resident of Suffolk. Email him at chris.a.quilpa@gmail.com.