Steve Abolt, commander of the U.S. 7th Infantry Living History Association, usually does up a very stirring message on the 4th. So here is his latest. I thought that it was very good, so am reprinting it here. Enjoy!
Cottonbalers and Friends!
Allow me to be one of the first to wish you a Happy Independence Day!!! It is the Glorious Fourth of July!
Though we cannot all be together today I wanted to take just a few moments and let you know how blessed I am to know all of you and how blessed all of us are to live in this magnificent Nation.
Today we will spend in celebration, and in pride. Between the back yard barbeques and sandlot baseball games we as a Nation come together.
There is much to celebrate today. Most importantly we celebrate freedom.
Yet, let us each remember that freedom does not begin with the letter "F". It begins with the letter "R". "R" for responsibility. The responsibility of freedom rests squarely and equally upon each of us. No one is charged with more or less of that responsibility.
What are you doing today and everyday to insure that the freedom we enjoy, and the dream, which is America, continues to thrive? Be honest in your answer.
Only the strong can remain free. Only the involved can maintain liberty. That is the responsibility of each and every American. That is freedom.
When people ask me at the beginning or the end of a living history weekend what is my goal, and what do I want to see the group accomplish I reply with a very simple answer. "I want them all to go home and be better citizens. I want them to realize they are part of a team. I want them to become involved. I want them to cherish the dream of Independence and to pass that dream onto others."
Freedom is a delicate flame. Without constant care and vigilance it will be extinguished. Woe to any of us, when upon the Day of Judgment we stand accused of allowing that flame, and the dreams which it embodies to have been extinguished.
Read aloud today the Declaration of Independence. Listen to the dreams and the responsibility the document sets forth. Realize that is who we are.
We won't be able to share a meal or the myriad of toasts, as we have over the last three years, over a glass of orange shrub. However at the Grand Tactical Mrs. Abolt and I will be providing that delicious beverage. And those of us who will be present will drink a toast to this great land and quote aloud the words of Benjamin Franklin. "They that can give essential liberty, to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety!
Remember today all our fighting men and women who keep this dream, which is America alive. Tracy, Brian, Charles and Donald thank you for standing on that wall for us.
So here is to the dream of freedom. Here is to the responsibility of freedom. Here's to US.....the United States of America!!
With warmest regards,