Independence Day, July 4, 2016

What does independence mean to you?
Definitions: Freedom from outside control or support.
The time when a country or region gains political freedom from outside control.

What about freedom?
Definitions: The quality or state of being free.
The absence of necessity, coercion or constraint in choice or action.
Liberation from slavery or restraint from the power of another.
The quality of being frank, open or outspoken with our speech.
A political right.

I love America! I love Independence day! I love the flag! I love to recite the Pledge of Allegiance!  I love our history, even the messy parts, that show we had some things wrong, but we eventually got them right! I love democracy! I love our military! I am still proud of our country, even if some in our government are not proud and make apologies for this country when most of us are aghast that they would dishonor those who have fought to keep us free by the very apologies they make.

Though I do love my country, there are many problems in this great land that are dividing us on so many, many issues.And if you aren't on the right side of tolerance you become afraid to speak out. Freedom says everyone has the right of being frank, open and outspoken. But over the past few years that has only applied to certain groups.

My heart is happy when I see the flag being flown throughout our city, on homes and businesses. We should be patriotic and we should believe we still live in the greatest country in the world and we should strive to be the nation that others look to, as the land of the free and the home of the brave
I've thought a lot today about which freedoms I enjoy most. Until a few years ago I never thought I would live long enough to see the day when our religious freedom might be in danger. Or that a pastor might heed the very words he says from the pulpit lest he be warned by the government that those words might not be politically correct. God's Word is always true and correct! I am so thankful that right now I can still worship freely and I do, every Sunday morning, without fear! I am thankful that I still have the freedom to have several Bibles in my home.I treasure that freedom!
God's Holy Word
Yesterday a team of forty-nine men, women and children returned from a week long mission trip to the country of Nicaragua without fear they might be prohibited from re-entering the USA. We have the freedom to leave our country at will and also to travel from state to state within out nation. What a blessing to know if we have loved ones who live in another part of this great land mass we are not prevented from seeing them. Not all countries have that privilege. And when we do have family reunions, we can pray, adorn our houses with flags and speak freely (and eat Catfish)!
Independence Day Reunion in Arkansas
Granddaughter, Emma Kate celebrating the 4th. What kind of country will we leave this generation?
Blessing the food! Family reunion in Kentucky

We have the freedom to protect our families from those who would do us harm. Our homes are supposed to be a safe haven and we have the right to bear arms to protect loved ones from those who steal, kill and destroy.
Husband, Howard Hulen,2001

Son, Delane Hulen, 2001
But we look to our military to protect us from foreign enemies and sometimes from domestic ones as well. God Bless these men and women who serve in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard. So many have given their life and limb to keep America safe and free. We should always be grateful and give them the respect and honor they deserve.
This post could be several pages long if I listed all the freedoms I am thankful for. But I want to end with thanking the men in my family who served our country from the 1940's until my husband retired in 2001.

Howard's dad, Walter Hulen, 1950's
Daddy, Harmon Holiday Dunlap 1944 WWII

Uncle, J.T. Berg (left) 1950's
Brother, Charles Dunlap, 1960's
            Brother-in-law, John Crews, 1960's 

Brother, Bruce Dunlap, 1960's



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