From the Desk of Tray Smith - July

Well, here we are again. First of the month, and I'm writing. I told a story a couple of days ago about a man in our church who fought during World War II on Iwo Jima and passed away a few months ago. He told a story about how most nights he doesn't think about it, but some nights he dreams and he's still there giving orders and can hear the screams.

This made me think about the 4th of July and what it really means to me. I am like most American men - I like to blow things up and play with dangerous stuff and push this to the limit. But I think we have really lost sight of what the 4th of July should be about. Yes, its fun to take my kids to a fireworks display and let them see the pretty colors and hear the bangs and listen to patriotic music. But really this is about the founding of our country and about the men and women that have given the ultimate sacrifice so that we can remain free in the nation. Now there are going to be some of you that say our rights are being infringed upon by big government and in part that is true. But take it from someone that has traveled to more than one foreign land and has seen what true oppression is. Our nation is truly free folks, we have the freedom to make a choice, we have a freedom to disagree or agree, and we have the freedom to vote how we like or not vote at all, we have the freedom to follow what religion we want or none at all.

This was made possible by a few men and women that stood up on July 4th, 1776 and declared to a foreign power that we will not be ruled by them, we will govern ourselves but what means that we see fit. Now again you may or may not agree with our current administration, but at least we had the opportunity to choose that administration. There are countries that you have no choice, no say at all. You vote or choose who they say or you don't even get to choose because someone at the top chose to be in charge this time.

Take a moment in your daily life and think about the people that have laid down their life for yours. It happens every day for us, whether we know it or not. We are a free people with choice, and the right to agree or disagree with one another. That folks is true freedom. Happy 4th and you will hear again from the desk of Tray Smith because I am free to write this and you are free to read it.