Melissa Martin, Ph.D

Happy Birthday America!

Happy Birthday to you. Happy Birthday Dear American, Happy Birthday to you. Sing along with me. Let’s eat cake and celebrate the Untied States.

Our nation was born on July 4, 1776. And the Fourth of July is the day we commemorate the signing of the Declaration of Independence; the day the thirteen colonies declared independence from Great Britain.

Stop the Trump-bashing for one day. Stop the political-pelting for one day. Stop the ‘God bless us four and no more’ for one day.

Show gratitude for the military men and women. Freedom is not free. It costs lives. Cheer as the parade floats go by. Teach children to salute soldiers as they march by. Wave the American flag. Honor our current servicemen and women and thank them.

Pray for the wounded warriors and their recovery in Veterans Administration hospitals and centers in America.

Peruse the Ohio Department of Veterans Services website. Learn more about the Ohio Veterans Hall of Fame. Ohio offers many services and supports for veterans and families via 88 local County Veterans Service Offices. www.dvs.ohio.gov/main/home.html.

Visit the graves of the courageous patriots from past wars. Observe the small flags flying on veterans’ burial resting places. Ponder on the sacrifices made.

The National Veterans Memorial and Museum Act designates a place for construction in Columbus, Ohio, to honor men and women of the armed forces, and has been signed into law by President Trump. www.dvs.ohio.gov/ and www.nationalvmm.org/.

“The Ohio Department of Veterans Services strives to ensure that the voices of Ohio’s 67,000 women veterans are heard.” The Mahoning County bridge was renamed Women Veterans Memorial Bridge.www.OhioVets.gov.

What’s happening in Ohio’s capital city for veterans? Both active and non-active military members can take their families to the Columbus Zoo at no cost during the Fourth of July week from June 30 through July 8, 2018.

Say grace before you gobble yummy picnic foods. Be thankful as you grill hamburgers and hotdogs. Be appreciative as you eat apple pie and ice cream. Americans get to choose what to eat and what not to eat. You can choose to eat turkey, tacos, or tofu on the 4th of July.

Reflect upon our American soil. When my missionary friends returned from Russia, they went down on their knees at the airport and kissed the ground. They cried, “God bless America!”

What about fireworks in Ohio’s 88 counties? Visit www.fireworksinOhio.com/by-county/. Sing the Star Spangled Banner, our national anthem, at the night sky lights up for liberty. “And the rocket’s red glare, the bombs bursting in air gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.”

Excerpt from the Declaration of Independence: “When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation. We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” www.ushistory.org/.

Happy 242 years America!

Melissa Martin, Ph.D, is an author, columnist, educator, and therapist. She lives in Southern Ohio. www.melissamartinchildrensauthor.com. Contact her at melissamcolumnist@gmail.com.