I am retired and take educated guesses on all things financial.

July 04, 2008

July 4, 2008: Lets Forget About The Markets Today And Be Humbled And Grateful

Well, July 4th brings many memories to many Americans. In my youth, decades ago, gatherings with both sides of a large extended eastern European family meant seventy or so jovial one family income, blue collar souls in our 30x70 foot backyard located in a fairly rough area just west of Chicago. The smells of ethnic cooking inside and out of the two bedroom brick home still stir the senses. Everyone brought pies, cookies, kolackies and lawn chairs. And the sausages - homemade all- with real meat and fat tasted great even with uncles and aunts smoking their Lucky Strikes everywhere. And homemade beer - strong stuff. Slivovice, even stronger.

Many were war veterans, but no one spoke of that in our family in the 1950s and early 60s when the family events of this type were at their height. Being a vet was a duty. Most were drafted, some enlisted. I discovered later that more than a few served with high distinction (usually stated at their funerals for the first time).

Another reason July 4th remains special to me is that it is my birthday, at least until the hospital switched it to July 3rd because they did not recognize daylight savings time.Regardless, it was celebrated with gusto on the fourth back then, less so now.

Today, I celebrate my children who number five serving as military officers, counting two spouses and my 98 year old mother who waves the red, white and blue flag better than most. Unfortunately, almost all the others of the family are deceased or long separated by time, distance or issues.

I am humble for having been lucky to live a life that included public service, and for the blessings of family. These, and the freedom to live your life as you wish spells A-M-E-R-I-C-A to me. God, home, family, honor and country.

Try to put your economic problems in perspective. What our ancestors had to endure on a daily basis makes our problems today appear petty. Very petty. The next time one winces at the stock market, or the cost of fuel, think of the tens of thousands of service personnel who have given their lives defending much more adverse daily circumstances. Think of the courage of the founding fathers. Think of beating the odds to form a democratic nation in a world of tyrants and savage tradition.

And remember that we honor all those patriots before us, warts and all. God love 'em, and God continue to bless America.

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