Happy Independence Day! Today be sure to grill out, eat lots of food and light off incredible fireworks. Yet the Fourth of July can also be a time for self-reflection and honoring the servicemen and women who have given themselves for our country.
Independence Day celebrates the United States’ sovereignty, culture and freedom. You can be a part of that by taking advantage of these 5 ideas to honor our nation’s troops.
1. Help out a military family.
When it comes to freedom, our military families know the cost. They’ve given up their loved ones to stand on the front lines and protect us. This Fourth of July, let a military family in your community know that their sacrifice is valued and appreciated.
Find a family near you to help out and give back to through food, time or basic essentials. Let this be a chance to connect with those in your community and celebrate with the families who understand that freedom isn’t free.
2. Send a soldier a care package.
Sending care packages and letters to our troops overseas is a great way to celebrate U.S. independence and give back. Our soldiers have given so much of themselves for us; now is the time to share our gratefulness with them.
Different organizations that help send troops letters and care packages include anysoldier.com, adoptaplatoon.org and thehugsproject.com. Instill in your family a sense of gratitude and patriotism, while brightening the day of those who need it most.
3. Explore United States history.
A lot has happened in the U.S. since the Declaration of Independence was signed in 1776. As Abraham Lincoln said, “If we could first know where we are, and whither we are tending, we could then better judge what to do, and how to do it.”
This Independence Day, take time to explore some of the history in the United States. Not only will you learn more about where we come from, but you’ll gain a higher sense of patriotism, respect and honor for where we are and where we’re going.
4. Volunteer for a local cause.
There are a variety of volunteering opportunities available during the Fourth of July season. Whether it’s as simple as running a fireworks stand, or helping to host a parade in your community, getting involved locally honors those around you and those overseas.
By volunteering, not only do you give back to fellow community members, but you respect the cause and mission our troops support. If you’re looking for something to get involved in, try checking out volunteermatch.org for Independence Day ideas.
5. Spend time with your family.
Finally, be sure to spend quality time with your family this Fourth of July. There are many servicemen and women who can’t be with their families today, or who never made it home. You can honor them by valuing the time that you have with your loved ones.
Celebrate the holiday with those you care about by doing more than lighting off fireworks. Read a short story about the origin of Independence Day, give gratitudes for what you’re most thankful for and talk about how you can continue to live a patriotic life.
The Fourth of July is a uniquely American tradition. Today, celebrate our freedom by honoring those who payed the price for us. Give back and commemorate the United States’ life, liberty and pursuit of happiness.