Rockets Red Glare

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Tomorrow we celebrate the founding of our country.  It is the official day of our Declaration of Independence.  This is the summer holiday we look forward to enjoying each year.   

We honor those who initially stood to make our country a reality.  We also remember those who have fallen while defending our freedoms at home and abroad.  Everyone in America has paid the price in helping to make this country great. And we take time to remember those who have paid that ultimate sacrifice.

There will be sports games and picnics, reunions and remembrances and great cookouts. Along with hot dogs and hamburgers and potato salad, fantastic food from each nation that we come from will also be made and consumed. For although we are one country, we can never forget we are a nation of immigrants. Our forefathers have come from around the world, and because of this, we are a nation of delicious foods and great traditions.

Some people will camp, fish, hike, sail on a lake, waterski, or enjoy the beach. Others will go to a movie to stay cool in some of our warmer climates. Others will take part in family reunions because it’s always great to see those who make up your family tree and are a meaningful part of your life. There are many activities, and everyone gets to do what they want to do. This is to enjoy some of the things that our forefathers fought and died for us to have.

There will be parades in many places. I will never forget the parade I marched in after the first gulf war. During that war, I was assigned to a small island in the Atlantic. Because of the role we played, I was picked to march in a local parade. I had joined the Air Force during the Vietnam War, and the military wasn’t thought of very well back then, so I was a little nervous marching in the parade. Yet, when we stepped onto the parade route and started to march, there was a cheer from the crowd, and that cheer lasted the entire parade route. By the end of the parade, I knew I had found my new home.

For many, the best part of the Fourth of July does not happen until the sun goes down. We are talking about fireworks. Fireworks are bright and light up the sky in beautiful colors and look magnificent. Each year they add new types of fireworks with fancy designs that blaze across the sky. After the fireworks show itself is over, my neighborhood kicks in and by the end of the night, all you see is a blue haze from all the fireworks that they have set off. Everything from Roman candles to firecrackers.

It’s a beautiful sight to see, yet I really believe the professionals should do the fireworks. Along with people getting hurt while setting them off, and the potential for starting fires, there’s another thing to consider. Some of our combat veterans have problems with some of the very loud fireworks. If you had ever been on a receiving end of a howitzer barrage, you would understand.

Thank you for being with me today. I hope to be with you again tomorrow.

Author: Mike Balof

A retired Air Force Master Sergeant, Mike used to lay in bed at night and worry about what would happen if his plant closed or found himself without a job. One day his plant closed. Rather than panic and hysteria (OK, maybe a little) Mike found himself carried away on the adventure of his life. Mike started with the best job he ever had working at Home Depot. He spent 8 years working with job seekers at a local workforce center, helping them to find employment. He then started his own company developing courses, writing books and urging others to follow their own paths into the future. Mike holds a Master of Arts in Adult Education and Training and a Bachelor of Business Management, earned through the University of Phoenix and an AAS degree in Electronics Systems Technology from the Community College of the Air Force. Mike is a member of the Delta Mu Delta Business Honor Society.

One thought on “Rockets Red Glare”

  1. Tomorrow evening I look forward to finding myself on the Ohio River in Evansville, IN joining a mass of people who like me, will pin their eyes to the sky at dusk to watch yet another brilliant fireworks display. There probably will be some new and more beautiful colors lighting up the expanse this year. Although I’m looking forward to seeing these, my favorites always come at the end when the red white and blue colors sparkle and crack. This is when I reflect on our America, and our lovely flag, our soldiers past and present, our country strong and valiant. This is when the rockets mean the most, and true pride blankets my heart. Happy 4th of July to you and yours and may we never forget the Why in the When, the Where, and still now, How the brave keep our country, our home free.


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