Beauty isn't always "pretty". Beauty is strong and couragous - that is the beauty of our country.From the beginning our country has raised people who were willing to stand, fight, and, if needed, die for what this country stands for.

This afternoon I took this photo of our local military cemetary. It was started during the Civil War. My family tree shows young men that left for that war who never came back. It was like that throughout our history.

Some of my ancesters came to this continent on the Mayflower. A couple of them died.

One of my ancestors was killed by "Indians" in New York, while working in the fields.

Some of my ancestors were in Boston in 1776. A couple of them died (although some others of them went to Canada, to a town that had so many folks come from the Boston area that they called part of it "Skeedadler's Ridge" after the Colonials who skeedadled up to Canada.)

Not everything that has happened here has been good. And even those Americans that the government refused to call "citizens" were willing to stand, fight and, if needed, die for what they believed in.

Some very bad things have happened in this country, for the sake of money, for the sake of the freedom for some (but not for others), some just out of anger.

There are still some bad things that happen - but we call them "evil".

And our country, our government, our constitution tells us that we have the freedom to stand up and call these things "evil". That is a thing of beauty.

We believe in freedom - not only for ourselves, but for others. This photo was taken in the same military cemetary - the stones are newer; so are the dates.

My father-in-law was a "war hero". He was a tank commander during World War II. His photo, his medals (including the Bronze Star and Purple Heart) are in a shadow box on my wall.

He wasn't drafted, my father-in-law joined the army; his parents had immigrated to the United States from Germany shortly before he was born.

He almost died - one of his men was trapped just outside a German machine gun nest. Dad circled around, snuck in and was able to drag his man to safety.

There were other wars, other people who fought, who were injured, who died. Some of the wars were wars fought by our country for the sake of freedom. Other "wars" were fought in the name of freedom inside our borders. The enemy was not other countries; sometimes the enemy was our own government.

The beauty of our country is that we are free to fight even those battles. Our "Bill of Rights" tells us so.

There have been other wars - sometimes the fallen have been treated badly, sometimes they have been forgotten.

Let us not forget. There is an official name for this holiday: "Independence Day".

Many, many people have fought and died freedom in and for our country for that essential beauty of our country - freedom.

Another "lady blogger" that I read every day pointed to Some Gave All, a site that honors the people who have died in military service in Iraq and Afganistan since September 11, 2001.I do know that whatever your politics, no matter how you feel about this (or any) war, these fine people deserve our honor and respect and their families deserve our support.

This site gives us an opportunity to remember the fallen.

Let's not forget.

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