The Fourth of July is a day on which most of us feel a sense of solidarity in being Americans, but all too often, we only think of the holiday aspect of the day instead of considering its meaning. In fact, for the last few days, my mind has drifted to holidays and vacation, and earlier today I even thought about how I deserved a vacation. Feeling justified in taking time off from the daily demands of life, I made a call to our Serrus project in Asheville to see if they had a condo open. (They are booked 100% for the Fourth.)
About an hour ago, however, I received a newsletter from a real estate legend, Terry Weaver, which began to change my perspective. He wrote about the impact of being on the beach in Normandy, where our fathers and grandfathers fought for and protected freedom in World War II. I’ve visited Normandy, and it was one of the most moving days of my life. His words made me realize that the Fourth of July is not about holidays, but about freedom.
Then, this afternoon someone sent me these pictures that I’m giving you. They make me realize how thankful I am to be an American, and they put my own life in perspective. You see, like you, I am an American. I have the freedom to build, dream, create, work, and profit in these United States. As Americans, we can all sleep at night. We can go to any church we want and sleep in if we are inclined. We can write an opinion or protest one. I believe freedom is such a profound and pervasive part of our lives that we take it for granted . . . until it’s threatened. Do you remember how you felt on September 11, 2001? I do.
Please take a few minutes and look at these pictures and the folks who put their lives on the line to protect each of us. After seeing this, I realized I ought to be a little more thankful for my work and freedom to help build this company and a little less concerned about my holidays.
God, please continue to bless the United States of America. And thank you to all the people on this day—the Fourth of July—who have been willing to sacrifice all to protect and defend us. It’s not just a holiday for those Americans. It’s about freedom.