The thundrous booms, showering crackles of light, and the piercing whistle of fireworks are enjoyed by millions of blue-blooded Americans each year as we celebrate our independence on the 4th of July. These spectacular displays of light, color, and sound inspire us while bringing to remembrance the courageous men and women who fought to protect our country’s liberties and freedoms; many paying the ultimate price.
For the soldier the “rockets red glare, the bombs bursting in air” aren’t necessarilly cause for celebration as much as they are a call to duty. Plumbs of smoke, and the earth rumbling beneath their feet brings a soldier to a state of readiness. Rapid gunfire, roadside bombs, and fellow soldiers falling at your side are grim realities for our brave servicemen and women. Sleepless nights, frightening memories, and post traumatic stress disorder, are ever surfacing reminders, while your enemies may no longer be physically present, their ghosts forever haunt the landscape of your life. Their lives will forever be affected, their perceptions, and perceptions of them, forever altered.
This Independence Day, as you “OOOO” and “AHHH” over the brilliant displays of light, color, and sound, pause to reflect upon the sacrifices of those who braved the “perilous fight” to make such displays of pride and patriotism possible. As God’s Word implores us all, “Give honor where honor is due.” Whether in the Airforce, Army, Marines, Navy, Coast Guard, National Guard, and Reserves; past, present, or fallen, on behalf of the entire Mangold Family, here is a heart-felt thank-you for all you have done and sacrificed to protect the “Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave!”
God bless our Troops and God bless America!
Pastor Rodger D. Mangold and Family