Take time to thank God this Independence Day

Published 4:07 pm Wednesday, July 3, 2024

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By: Myrtle V. Thompson

July 4 is the day we celebrate our country’s independence. Our American red, white, and blue flag symbolizes freedom. It reminds us we became a great nation and influenced the world with what we believed was freedom’s essence. I will be flying my flag on July 4. 

I am a 96-year-old lover of my country. That flag is a reminder of many of the privileges we have in America. I love to hear our national anthem, the refrain of “God Bless America,” and patriotic songs like “This is my country, land of my birth …” We pledge allegiance to this flag. It should be the desire of every parent to teach their children why this country is special.

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I was a Deep Creek High School student in grade seven when WW II started. It did not take long to understand what was happening. We had only 11 grades of schooling but had already been taught the essentials — we saluted that flag. There had been no recent known threats to our peace. We would soon learn about the attack on Pearl Harbor. My oldest brother was in the Navy, stationed there. We had no TV, but our family had a small radio. My parents sat each night listening to the news.

Now I am looking back, thinking of the emotional effect that war news must have had on everyone. The drafting of young men was in effect. My two older brothers quickly joined the Navy. It was important to everyone that our country be preserved. The churches were left open 24/7 for all who wanted or felt the need to pray. Certain foods were rationed or in short supply. I don’t think anyone complained because we seemed to understand our future was on the line. 

In my many world travels and extended years living in three foreign countries, I have never experienced freedom anywhere else like we have had it in our country. I hope we will not allow ourselves to be taken over by some who want us to comply with what they seem to prefer, a “ruling class” of wealthy individuals. A look at what has happened to countries around us should make us aware of what that could do to our freedom.    

I don’t remember studying much of the nation’s history in those early school days, but while clearing out old papers, I found a copy of the Constitution and wondered how much of its truths are being taught today. 

I then did what I seem always to do, I compared the truths of that great document to the truths found in our Bible, looking for their relevance. The writers of that document understood we cannot enjoy life in a nation where all is in confusion and leadership is combative. They came to an agreement and the Constitution 

became the document for our nation/s guidance. 

The basis for many of the rules for good conduct is found in the Ten Commandments of the Bible. God set those standards. Teaching those relevant commandments in schools and to our children would help us ensure right living. 

I hope this Fourth of July will find all of us thanking God for our country and asking Him to keep us free. Flying our flag on July 4 will show our loyalty and perhaps remind us to thank God for all we have. Let’s not forget we are still a free country. Let’s humble ourselves and give thanks to God for all we have and have had. We have been blessed with so many good things.