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When the founding fathers picked up their pens and signed the document of boldly declaring each man’s right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, no fireworks filled the sky, no marching bands sounded their trumpets, and no crowds erupted in applause. Instead, these men were left with the threat of death hanging over their heads, the promise of hardship and pain on the battlefield, the loss of their homes and belongings—and something more important than anything else: a renewed determination to win their freedom against all odds.
We remember Independence Day as America’s birthday, the day the Declaration of Independence was signed by the delegates of each colony. But it’s also much more than that. It’s the celebration of the hard work and brilliant minds that devised a constitution that could stand the test of time, of generations of men and women who gave their lives to protect our freedom, and of the kind of life we have the opportunity to lead here in America. Even more, it’s a time to reflect on what freedom really means.
We know that freedom isn’t free. Our freedom was bought by the many who have put their lives on the line defending the rights we hold dear. These people, the military and first responders who risk everything, deserve a huge thank you.
That’s why we host our annual Freedom Ride, a motorcycle ride that brings together brave service members and honors them for all they do. Last year, we celebrated these heroes with a 2-hour long bike ride through the Orange County canyons, free BBQ at Cook’s Corner, a free concert with Gethen Jenkins, and a special appearance by Marine veteran and Medal of Honor Recipient Dakota Meyer.
To us, freedom sounds like those motorcycle engines revving and boisterous crowds cheering in celebration. While we’re disappointed we have to postpone this event, we are still excited to honor the brave men and women in this country in other ways.
To mark the occasion, we wanted to share some ideas our team members came up with that they will be using to celebrate this important day in our history:
As you’re reflecting on the meaning of freedom over the next week, we want to hear your thoughts! Tell us your stories--whether they’re about your own or a family member’s experience in the military, your family’s story of coming to America, something you were able to accomplish because you live in this country, why you are thankful, anything!
Email us at [email protected] with your ideas and pictures about what freedom means. We’ll be sharing responses from members over the next week, and we will be giving $10 gas cards to those that we select to share, so keep an eye out on our Facebook page for those posts. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.