First let me apologize for the lateness of this message. As always, I want to say a big thank you to all who has made it possible for me to distribute this message. I cannot express my gratitude enough for your assistance. I also want to thank each of you reading this. It’s always my goal that something said in these notes will encourage, inspire or uplift you in some way. I know you’re busy and you do a lot to get ready for your shift. So thank you for reading.
On July 4, 1776 our Founding Fathers said enough was enough. This year marks 239 years of a free America. But even though the last year hasn’t been easy, America has had rocky times before. We have been involved in twelve major wars, we had the Great Depression, we’ve had leaders assassinated, and times of major disasters. But through the years America has risen to the challenge, continued to grow, and stay free.
It’s been said that “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same.” How do we do that? We do that in the everyday choices we make. We do that when we choose the right path over the easy path. We do that by choosing to help others when they need it the most (even if we think they deserve it the least). We do that by watching out for our brother and giving a hand when they need it. We do that by smiling at the kid who looks at our shiny badge, or taking a picture of them in our cruiser or fire truck. We do that by remembering the fallen, and helping their families. We do it by remembering that life is lived in small pieces and by living an honorable life in day to day parts. You can’t fix the world, and you can’t do it in a day. Here’s the key: Just take the next right step. Make the next right decision. No matter how deep in the hole you feel, life is lived one day at a time, one decision at a time. Sometimes, even the best of us lose that perspective. We all need a “shot in the arm” from time to time. So if you find yourself struggling, ask someone you trust, ask a Chaplain, ask that trusted co-worker, or you can even ask me.
So Happy Independence Day, America! Let’s go out and live it!
In closing, as always, thank you so much for who you are, and all you do. I’ve said it before and will say it again, you all are heroes. I don’t know how often you hear it, but I’m certain it’s not nearly enough.