Menifee Mom: Let's Remember What We're Celebrating

By Karen Thomas

Last weekend, we got to join in on the Menifee tradition of celebrating the 4th of July, our country's Independence Day, a week early. My kids enjoyed the small town parade held before the fireworks and cheered on all the locals as they went by. Even the small amount of candy thrown brought smiles to their faces.

The best part, however, was the fireworks show. It's always a relatively low-key display, by some standards, but nice to enjoy with the kids. As a parent, I especially appreciate not having to fight crowds to get home when it's over!

Our family gathered together in our back yard to watch the fireworks and turned on some patriotic music. As we sang along to "America the Beautiful," "You're a Grand Old Flag," and "My Country 'Tis of Thee, " I couldn't help but feel appreciation to live in this great country.

Many disagree on the direction our country is headed politically, socially, or economically. Some think we're making progress, others think we're headed for doomsday. But either way, I can't help but think how lucky we are to have the freedom to disagree or to fight for change.

I hope that when the 4th of July rolls around, we instill in our kids a sense of patriotism. They may hear our criticism and complaints about things that happen, but they also need to hear about all the good things we have going for us in the USA.

From the pilgrims and the founding fathers to military men and women who serve our country, our history is rich with people who gave all they had to make our country what it is today.

As we gather together this weekend for the real 4th of July celebration, let's remember how good we have it. And with each explosion that goes off in the sky, let's think of those freedoms we enjoy and the people who made that possible.

Karen Thomas is a stay at home mom of four daughters, has been on the PTA board at her kids' school for four years, and is a volunteer at her church, in addition to her activities as a volunteer soccer referee, a piano teacher, and a runner. Her column will appear here every other week. Comments are welcome.


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