American spirit

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Tomorrow Americans will gather for parades, barbecues, horseshoes and washers games and, of course, fireworks. But as we celebrate, let us also take time to remember the sacrifice many have and are currently making to keep our country free.

We often recite the Pledge of Allegiance, but its words are worth repeating:

I pledge allegiance to the flag

of the United States of America

and to the republic for which it stands,

one nation under God, indivisible,

with liberty and justice for all.

This liberty and justice we are privileged to have is something that many have sacrificed for. Tomorrow will mark the 236th year anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. In closing, the signers wrote the following:

And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

This statement was not just simple political rhetoric. Some of the signers fought and were held as prisoners of war by the British during the Revolutionary War. Some of the others saw their homes ransacked.

While some of us might not see in our own lives the challenges these men faced, many still today volunteer to help preserve our freedoms in the armed forces. To these individuals we are forever grateful.

Others not on a battlefield find ways to help their community here at home. But regardless of where someone serves, we can all strive to represent the Spirit of America.

In today's Southeast Missourian we publicly announce this year's recipient of the Southeast Missourian Spirit of America Award, Kent Zickfield. Tomorrow night, just before the demolition derby at 6 p.m., we will formally recognize Mr. Zickfield at the Arena Park grandstands. We hope you will join us as we celebrate this occasion and salute this year's recipient as well as the other eight deserving nominees.

Have a safe and fun weekend, but let's also remember why we celebrate this day.

Happy Fourth. Happy Independence Day!

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