Most of us don’t give recognition to those who paid and are still paying the price to enjoy celebrating the Fourth of July. I’ll admit it’s hard to think about when there are hamburgers to grill, fireworks to blow up and swimming to do, but it should at least come up in conversation at some point in the day.

Our family tends to have deep discussions, which sometimes lead to loud debates, and I usually play referee for topics such as religion or politics. It is, after all, their freedom to believe in whatever their hearts' desire. They know I'll have my say if someone starts bashing our country or the military.

Gripe about the government, whine about taxes, but don't ever let me hear you grumble about living in the United States or object to those who have served, or are serving, in our military.

I've been accused of being too patriotic, which sometimes is irritating to others. Most of the time I'm laid back, but don't get me started on people who take their freedom for granted.

In my mind, regardless of what the government does or doesn't do, they don't make or break our country. The Constitution begins with "we the people" not "the government." Regardless of what we may think about the president, the war or the immigrants, the United States of America is our land, our country and our responsibility.

We will spend the day with our kids and grandkids, and there’s nothing else I’d rather be doing. Watching the grandkids play as without a worry in the world reminds me even more of how important it is to be grateful to live in a country that isn’t being destroyed by a war fought in the backyards of innocent people. I do, however, question the priorities for some of the parents of today’s world.

The news recently has been full of reminders on taking precautions with the intense heat of the summer, which is a good thing, as sometimes reminders can save lives. My concern is why society is trying to come up with a solution to help parents not forget their kid is in the backseat. How is that even possible? They now are suggesting to leave your cell phone in the backseat, because you know, the cell phone is more important than your kid.

The Fourth of July is a day to celebrate our freedom. We have the right to choose how we live, how we act and who we become. Thank goodness our military care enough for our freedom. They will sacrifice their lives to protect it. The least we can do is protect others, whether it’s from the heat of the day or monsters under the bed.

Happy Fourth of July, and be patriotic today and every day.

Sandy Turner lives in Independence. Email her at