What Independence Day Means to Me

What Independence Day Means to Me

by Bill Icenogle, Director, Emergency Management, Security

Independence Day or 4th of July, immediately conjures up fond past memories involving family and friends, BBQ’s and my brothers and I along with my cousins, inadvertently attempting to blow each other up with our own improvised firework pyrotechnics, (thankful to be alive today). Later that evening we would, all take in the awesome fireworks displayed over Lake Waco on a hot summer night. 

Later as I grew older, and adventured into a military career I considered the foundation and meaning for the holiday. History reflects the rising momentum of thirteen colonies wanting their independence from what had been their sovereign, Great Britain. Political upheaval, coupled with a sense of injustice and tyranny fueled, with what must have been the craziest of ideas, i.e. Independence, separating themselves from Great Britain.

Certainly, for those representing the Colonies in the Continental Congress it was an immensely weighty and frightful prospect, and one that if pursued, would surely invite the full wrath of the super power at the time. This great experiment was akin to jumping into the abyss with no guarantee of the outcome. To make matters worse, the King of England had sent a Royal Proclamation that any non-compliance with English rule was sedition and would result in death by hanging. Nonetheless, the dream and to have a country of their own and for generations to come was worth the cost to them.

Fast forward to today, I feel fortunate and blessed as we continue to enjoy the freedoms and liberties so sought after by those before us. That small group of Representatives that endlessly debated and ultimately sacrificed so much, for a dream, an idea called American independence. Since 1776, the cost to maintain these liberties and freedoms continues to require sacrifice from one generation to the next and gratefully we continue to secure them for the generations to come.