The fourth of July is typically a get together of loved ones to share some food and fireworks and to watch some sort of movie about how the US is far superior to those ‘other nations’ (whichever nations the movie is implicating at the time). However, I want you to take time to think this year. Think about what Uncle Sam means to you and to me. The freedom to think independently, the challenge to accept those with thought patterns and belief systems and ideas completely different than our own, the invigorating creativity that places us at the cutting edge of almost everything… You know those things that make this nation great! And think of not just the great things, but how we obtained them, the sacrifice that it meant to our forefathers who were willing to risk it all just to sign a piece of paper. Imagine that today!
After the declaration of independence, imagine the colors that make our flag, that unfurls with the might of the wind, which inspires each of us to lead a life greater and more meaningful than the civilian life we led before we joined, for in that moment of that oath we joined not just an occupation, but a cause, and that cause is freedom. William Wallace would be proud! (Or at least Mel Gibson pretending to be William Wallace)
RED: The color of the blood and lives of those who sacrificed what we freely take for granted and even trample underfoot with the lack of respect we have towards our freedoms and the ungraciousness we sometimes display towards the riches we have that even the poorest in our country are quite rich compared to the rest of the world. Today, July 4th, I implore you my fellow American’s, to take this day to remember and to be thankful for our freedoms and our prosperity, not as a God given right but rather something that was worked very hard for and reached and achieved through the utmost of peril and even loss of life of good men who dreamed of better lives that we are now able to live.
BLUE: The color of unity and yet also diversity; though these principles stand apart, the beauty of diversity working in unity is a paradox that the Navy has freely celebrated for 200 years in some ways shapes and forms. Our blue colors should remind us this 4th of July that while there are those who we may hold the utmost conflict with, we can still respect them and their ability to make and form their own judgments of this world and its existence and path. For even while disagreeing, a path less than respect such as name calling or violence does nothing to help bring peace and the ability to accomplish common goals; rather, the path of disrespect is already less than we expect from ourselves and others in our great Navy.
WHITE: The color of purity, purity of our values and our intentions. While we may fail at times here or there to which we ascribe to attain, we nevertheless pursue those codes of conduct, those morals, those religious beliefs and convictions, those humanitarian conventions, those atheistic bonds towards the common man, we all ascribe towards something of higher value than just ourselves. No failure brings about the stain of an emotionally charged word such as ‘hypocrite’, but rather, we use our failures as fuel to desire to aim higher all the more; we use our success stories as the marking points of a path that is as of yet unknown and each day is a journey unto itself.
Show common sense with fireworks. Follow the labels, if it says stand at (X distance) away from the firework, do so for the sake of yourselves and those around you. Show common sense with sunscreen. The label says reapply (X times per X hours). Reapply or suffer the consequences, especially for those of us whose skin is less advantageous towards the sun. Show common sense drinking water. We all know how hot it is out there and how much MORE you sweat during command PT now with the heat than you did before, so apply the same need to use water in your off time as well. Show common sense with eating. We all know we have a fake PRT soon…Take care of your shipmates. The best way to avoid DUI is to call someone when you feel stranded. The best way to avoid a fight is to call someone when you feel angry. See a theme? Call someone, and even if you are not the one doing the calling, make sure to step in a ‘be a friend’ or ‘be a shipmate’ and show that you care. There is ALWAYS a way you can be involved, even if it is not the most bold/brash way of going about it. Find a way to be involved and be yourself; don’t let a situation go down that you could have prevented just because you were too scared to step in and do something about it. If you are more worried about Big Navy and how things will be perceived and the letter of the rule instead of the spirit of the rules, you have lost the point already; the point is to care about your shipmates far above perception and to do the right thing even when it might be inconvenient or even when it might damage the reputation. Certainly, think through to find out IF it what the right decision IS before you make it, but once you are clear in your mind what to do, step out without hesitation!
Events for the 4th of July:
Sertoma’s Fourth of July Celebration 11 AM at Seville’s Quarters, with fireworks starting at 9pm, on Thursday, July 4th, 2013.
Ronald McDonald Firecracker 5k, July 6, 0730 in the AM rain or shine to promote RMCDH. BRING YOUR KIDS, there is also a ‘kids fun run’ at the same time!
PO2 Steele- Social Networking Member