When our children were young, we were involved with a youth marching band called The Green Berets. At  one point all four were in it. Our son Chris played in the drum line, Kate twirled a rifle, Becky was the majorette and our youngest, Heidi, was the junior majorette. Heidi was only five. I can still remember her and her older sister doing their snappy salute before the crowds as awards were presented. Even Bernie and I were involved. He was on the board and drove bus, I always served as chaperone.

There was always a tour of parades over the Fourth of July and I remember the experience of the kids marching in heat. Chaperones walked along bearing water bottles, ready to help pull a kid if necessary. The kids were brave and committed and we were proud as can be.

It is a hot Fourth of July in most of the country. Where parades take place, I pray for the safety of band  members and those who come to have their hearts lifted. There is nothing  like a Fourth of July parade to bring back the patriotism that may have been waning in our hearts.

Happy Birthday, America.