On this Fourth of July, we must remember why we stand


Kernel Opinion SIG

Hayden Hooper

As I walked into church last Sunday, seeing a men’s choir of 40 or more members was a spectacle, but it got better.

My church in Louisville celebrated the fourth of July by having every branch of the military represented as they walked to the stage. As every branch was announced, they asked that every man and woman who served in that branch stand to be recognized.

While this was happening, I observed proud Americans standing and their relatives holding their heads high. But, I caught something in the corner of my eye that stood out to me the most. My own mom sobbing as she remembered all her relatives who had served in a specific branch.

Today, I give thanks to everything this country stands on: freedom, sacrifice and the land of the free. God given rights and the American dream.

That is America. Not people hiding behind smartphones on social media trashing one another. That’s not how things get done. Civil conversation, not trying to withhold service because of who you work for or the trashing of streets because you don’t respect who is in charge.

We are given the right to peacefully protest and elect our Commander in Chief. The right to free speech and to bear arms.

This country isn’t perfect, but it’s ours.

That is why I stand for the national anthem wherever I go. My mother instilled in me what it meant to have family members who served in the military. I was taught at a young age that we cannot take this country for granted and it could be a lot worse.

I stand because I go around this amazing country and see the memorials of what people did to fight for this country. I stand for the families who immigrate here to start fresh. 

So, as you go out today and watch the fireworks and celebrate America’s birthday, remember and think of what America means to you.

Remember the sacrifices that our service members made to give us our freedom.

Finally, ask yourself what this country means to you. We all have different answers but this One Nation, Under God is what unifies us all.

God bless you all. God bless the United States of America.