When we celebrate important events from history, I'm always amazed by the stories of heroes of the past--people willing to make sacrifices for something bigger than themselves. I close my eyes and try to imagine what they went through. Mostly, I cannot--the sacrifices I've made don't come close to the sacrifices people made in the early days of our country.
We shouldn't take our freedom for granted. Not only did brave men and women make sacrifices in the past, but they continue to do so today. Some sacrifices aren't as readily apparent as others--we can easily recognize that civilians and military members at war are making great sacrifices as are their loved ones at home. But there are many others quietly making sacrifices in an effort to ensure freedom while avoiding war or other conflicts.
Independence isn't a one-shot deal. And it isn't a movie or video game. The sacrifices, both past and present, are real. If we don't continue to protect our freedom today and moving forward, we may wake up one morning to find that we are no longer free.