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Outdoor adventures: Let freedom ring...year-round

Published: Friday, July 5, 2013 10:45 p.m. CDT • Updated: Friday, July 5, 2013 10:51 p.m. CDT
(Matt "Cat Matt" Jones/Shaw Media)
There's a lot of glitz and glam on the Fourth of July, but celebrating those who sacrificed to protect our liberties is of utmost importance.

Well, happy belated Independence Day, everyone. As I sit and write this masterpiece, it is the Fourth of July. While I sit here, I can’t help but wish that I could have sat in on some of the very earliest of our country’s celebrations of freedom.

I imagine a lot of the glitz and glam was absent, and there was a lot more evidence of the true meaning of freedom. The people of the earliest times actually lost their land, their homes and their loved ones fighting for our freedom.

Independence Day was not just a day of celebration, but a day of appreciation. It was a day to grieve and a day to pledge allegiance to our country. Those people knew the price paid for the right to be free.

Through the years, millions of great Americans have given their lives on foreign shores fighting to keep our freedom.

We have seen brother kill brother on our own soil, and we have even witnessed our own country invaded when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor.

We have seen countless brave men and women pay the ultimate price fighting in other countries trying to help the defenseless. Sometimes, maybe even when we shouldn’t have, we did. That is who we are. That is what we are about.     

You know, I hate what our government has done to our country. So I ignore that stuff as much as I can, and I live the life that all those patriots fought to earn for me. I have a place to live, and I can come and go as I please.

Heck, I can even go fishing whenever I want. I didn’t earn that right. Others risked it all to give me that right. Man, I am so thankful they did.

Maybe that’s why I still tear up during the national anthem, or why my hat is off and my hand is over my heart when it is played.

Maybe that is why it pisses me off that my kids can’t say the pledge of allegiance in the classroom anymore. Or maybe that’s why I get mad when I hear athletes and rap stars call themselves soldiers. 

So here we are, some 2 or 3 days past Independence Day.

You still got that flag flying high? You still got them cute little flags attached to the window of your car? You still happy to be free, or is it just another day you’re going to take for granted?

Since I am so lucky to get to do the things I do, let me take this time to thank every single man and woman who has put their life on the line to defend our freedom. I cannot thank you enough, and there is not a day goes by that I don’t see Old Glory somewhere and well up with a little pride.

More than 200 years of American heroes have come and gone and, while many things have changed, one thing remains the same. I am – no, we are – free. We should remember that more than just 1 or 2 days a year.

God bless America, let freedom ring and, of course ... Go Catfish! 

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