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Freedom. Autonomy.  Liberty. Self-governance. Sovereignty. Self-determination.


These words are what our forefathers fought for.  These words are what the courageous men and women of our military and many of our fellow civilians still fight for.


They did not fight for July 4th. July 4th is simply a day chosen to represent the objective of the fight. A day to represent the hard work of the fight. A day to represent the importance of the fight. Independence was actually voted upon and approved by Congress on July 2, 1776, but because of a two-day delay at the printers, July 4th became the day to represent the fight. Not to mention some signatures didn’t even happen until August 1776!


My point is that we should be focused on “Independence Day,” not July 4th. July 4th can certainly commemorate the day we pause and celebrate, but it is “Happy Independence Day” that we should be shouting out loud not “Happy 4th of July.”


I have never been more adamant about this fact than I am this year. I have had the honor of leading Riverbend’s newest experience-based learning™ program alongside several of our nation’s humble, strong, agile, passionate, disciplined, and mentally tough Navy SEALs. I never would have imagined I would have the privilege to get to know them in this way over the past 9 months. I continue to be amazed and inspired by them every time that I am in their presence.


They fought, and fight, for our Freedom. For our Autonomy. For our Liberty. For our Self-governance. For our Sovereignty. For our Self-determination.


Think about that. Someone you have never met has been in the fight, or continues to be in the fight, or is training to be in the fight, so you can have the gift of self-determination over your life. Just so you can have the gift of autonomy in your decisions and actions.


Whether or not you are honoring them with the decisions and actions that you make with this gift is a blog for another time, but net-net we should be celebrating Independence Day – that is what needs to be remembered and celebrated. That is what our military (and other selfless leaders and civilians) fight for – theirs, yours, and my Independence.


I am “self-determined” to celebrate Independence Day on July 4 by choosing to be continually grateful for those who have been and are battling for you and for me, and by maximizing my “autonomous” decisions and actions that ultimately honor the fight for freedom.


Join me.


Happy Independence Day!

Author Doreen Linneman

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