The Fourth of July, the one holiday I can fully dedicate myself to celebrate. Often what occurs to me after celebrating a holiday, is how I could have enjoyed that holiday more. On Memorial Day, I often feel I should have done more to honor those who sacrificed for our great nation's freedom. On Thanksgiving Day, I often feel I made it nothing more than a food feast and had a good football snooze. I would like to think I put a little more effort into celebrating my Mother on Mothers' Day and my father on Fathers' Day, but then again, no son or daughter could give enough thanks to their parents for all they do for them.
However, the Fourth of July is a different story. As the great Benjamin Franklin, a famed signer of the Declaration of Independence stated: the day should be a day of celebration for the nation.
I can celebrate freedom and the great nation I am so fortunate to be born in. It doesn’t hurt that the only prerequisite to having a great July fourth is being surrounded by family, perhaps a BBQ in sight, to celebrate freedom with colorful fireworks. I am all in on this holiday-one of, if not the only- guilt-free holidays. As I age, my perspective, my attitudes and my priorities change and I am quickly realizing that these holidays are not just for outdoor BBQ's, fantastic fireworks displays or days off of work. No, every holiday demands at least a brief time of reflection. So, take these few minutes to reflect with me on the Fourth of July. Over 50 wealthy respected men signed our Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. Most were dead four years past this date. Those who survived the ensuing Revolutionary War lost everything they possessed and died impoverished. They pledged their wealth, their possessions and their lives to gain freedom for what has become known as "The Great American Experiment." We are now 243 years into this experiment, and here are a few thoughts I personally have taken.
1. The USA was birthed in bloodshed and hardship by a small group of men and women who believed that freedom and liberty and personal rights are worth the struggle.
2. About every 20 years or so our country has gone to war to defend what we gained. There seems to be a constant attempt to destroy freedom and liberty and personal rights. What's the famous quote? "The price of freedom is eternal vigilance."
3. Similar to everyone else my age, I take my freedoms far too casually, not comprehending the profound wonder of what I have been given in this country.
4. There must always be those willing to give up their lives so that the living who remain can more fully enjoy theirs. My hope is that all of us reach a tipping point in our lives where we are not only consumers of freedom but defenders of freedom, because freedom is not free. It always costs someone ALL they have to secure it. This is why my wealth management system is not ultimately about simply becoming crazy rich. My plan is to build and leave a legacy through the wise management of wealth - a legacy that includes securing the freedom to continue to be free, to preserve our personal rights.
So, on this grand day, flags will fly, families will gather, burgers and hot dogs will be cooked and occasionally burnt, followed by ice cream and watermelon, parades by the hundreds will march through towns, children will laugh and play, boaters will waterski their local lakes, and all of us will sit and watch the spectacle of fireworks. And maybe .... a few of us will look to the heavens with a moistened eye and, "Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation, for this is our motto: In God is Our Trust." And may our flags always fly over the land of the free and the home of the brave. And now, my friends, let the celebrating begin. Happy Fourth!