I have just read the most insulting web log post that pretends to be grateful to our troops, past and present -- the sacrifices they have made so that the writer could call America a "whore of war." I'd sure send that note of appreciation to my son . . . NOT. Criticism is one thing, but unmitigated hatred is quite another. Some folk really ought to go live in whatever countries they think are so much better than this one (and believe me, I see our flaws quite clearly) and discover what tyranny and warmongering really are.
So, to get the taste out of my mouth, here's what John Adams wrote to Abigail on the third of July, 1776, after the Declaration was adopted in principle on the second. (Hence the reference to the second instead of the fourth -- the fourth was when the final form was approved.)
"The second day of July, 1776, will be the most memorable epocha in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forevermore.
"You will think me transported with enthusiasm, but I am not. I am well aware of the toil and blood and treasure that it will cost us to maintain this Declaration and support and defend these States. Yet, through all the gloom, I can see the rays of ravishing light and glory. I can see that the end is more than worth all the means. And that posterity will triumph in that day's transaction [. . .]."
My heartfelt thanks to all, from that time to this, who have made the sacrifices of toil and blood and treasure that have kept us a free nation. Especially, today, I am grateful to my grandfathers all, my daddy, my uncles, my father-in-law, my brother, my son.
May God bless and protect our troops, and may we never, even in our legitimate criticism of true flaws, forget our heritage and fail to see that it still glows in the sacrifices so many are willing to make, that it is worth fighting for, whether by the sword, the pen, or any unstinting service to man for the sake of liberty.