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Happy Fourth of July to America's Greatest Family.

I have been sitting here wanting to share my love and pride for this great country with all of you this morning. But every time I got close to writing something, someone I love like Frank M. or Brent S. or Chris N. or Alex S. posted in here and I got distracted. But I think I get it a little better now. America is the greatest place in world because of Frank and Chris and Jerry and Rick and John and Diane and Brent and, of course, our families. America is great because of her people, every one of them, and particularly because of this family we call the fire service. And this fire service is the greatest in the world because we get to protect and defend this beautiful land and her wonderful people everyday.

It must be tough--and I don't hold it against the non-firefighters of the country--for being so darn jealous of our noble profession. But I sure hope they all know how proud we are of the letter carriers, teachers, shop clerks, insurance folks, public utilities people, even (yep) the cops--all those incredible Americans who work so hard everyday keep this beautiful land and her citizens fed, educated, and safe. I hope you dont mind this shot of my family. They live all around this country, so some of you are protecting some of them right now, thanks.

I don't really care what others in the media might say; as a matter of fact I think we should pray for those misguided souls who say and write bad and insulting things about our country, especially today! I hope you hummed the national anthem as you raised old glory on your front lawn flag pole or at your fire station this morning. I think it should be broadcast in every city hall and town center and especially at every fire station and cop shop every morning as she glides up over us for the day!

Tonight as the fireworks begin I hope you are humming taps and remembering the price our freedom has cost so far and will continue to cost in the future as you lower her and fold her with the deepest of love, respect and care.

For our family, the American fire service represents the finest qualities, values, and beliefs that mankind has ever aspired to and we have nothing but honor in our history. We owe it to our heritage and to our legacy to be the Americans the country expect us to be. I hope every one of us goes home safe tonight, but if it happens that one of us should fall today then let the country know they did not fall alone or in vain. Let your neighbors know that everyone of us is there and will be there for their immediate families and their communities. You are once and forever a firefighter, once and forever an American, and family is forever family.

Today you might see, hear, and read stuff that you dont agree with support or like. Smile--that is why we are the greatest country in the world. Here you can say, write, and support whatever you want. We have liberals, conservatives, Democrats and Republicans and God knows what else, and everybody has an opinion, and they all deserve to be protected.

You see everyone has a mission, a cause; some we agree with some we dont. But in our family, here in the fire service, we have but one mission. We are here to serve. We are here to support, defend, and protect the citizens and guests of the greatest country in the history of mankind: The United States of America. God Bless her, her people, and all who serve her around the world. Oh yeah, and thank you God, for everything.


posted by Bobby Halton
7/04/2008 02:19:00 PM

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