July 4, Independence Day

Let's see to it, this nation always stands proud to be "Under God". Let's not let the voice of a very few tell us we cannot mention God when we are speaking of our country! If it were not for God, we would not be here. If it were not for God, this great land we live in, would not be here! If it were not for God, there would be no reason for life to go on! Let's stand tall and let everyone know we are of God and God belongs in our daily life. Without God, we are nothing. Let's show our respect for Him, who died to set us free, to live on this great land!

The Freedom we have in the United States was fought for long before the Declaration of Independence was signed in 1776. Many of us have Fore Fathers who stood up what they believed. Throughout history we have read and heard of the struggles to make The United States of America a great place to live, to learn, to work and to play.

Following are links to some of the Web pages I have found that express what our Independence Day celebrations are all about. Have fun. There are sites with absolutely wonderful graphics and midis as well as articles and fun pages for the kids.

Condensed from a speech by Leo K. Thorsness, recipient of the The Congressional Medal of Honor

You've probably seen the bumper sticker somewhere along the road. it depicts an American Flag, accompanied by the words "These colors don't run."

I'm always glad to see this, because it reminds me of an incident from my confinement in North Vietnam at the Hao Lo POW Camp, or the "Hanoi Hilton," as it became known. Then a Major in the US Air Force, I had been captured and imprisoned from 1967-1973. Our treatment had been frequently brutal.

After three years, however, the beatings and torture became less frequent. During the last year, we were allowed outside most days for a couple of minutes to bathe. We showered by drawing water from a concrete tank with a homemade bucket.

One day as we all stood by the tank, stripped of our clothes, a young Naval pilot named Mike Christian found the remnants of a handkerchief in a gutter that ran under the prison wall. Mike managed to sneak the grimy rag into our cell and began fashioning it into a flag.

Over time we all loaned him a little soap, and he spent days cleaning the material. We helped by scrounging and stealing bits and pieces of anything he could use.

At night, under his mosquito net, Mike worked on the flag. He made red and blue from ground-up roof tiles and tiny amounts of ink and painted the colors onto the cloth with watery rice glue. Using thread from his own blanket and a homemade bamboo needle, he sewed on the stars.

Early in the morning a few days later, when the guards were not alert, he whispered loudly from the back of our cell, "Hey, gang, look here." He proudly held up this tattered piece of cloth, waving it as if in a breeze. If you used your imagination, you could tell it was supposed to be an American flag.

When he raised that smudgy fabric, we automatically stood straight and saluted, our chests puffing out, and more than a few eyes had tears.

About once a week the guards would strip us, run us outside and go through our clothing. During one of those shakedowns, they found Mike's flag. We all knew what would happen. That night they came for him.

Night interrogations were always the worst. They opened the cell door and pulled Mike out. We could hear the beginning of the torture before they even had him in the torture cell. They beat him most of the night.

The Stars and Stripes, our national symbol, was worth the sacrifice to him. Now whenever I see the flag, I think of Mike and the morning he first waved that tattered emblem of a nation. It was then, thousands of miles from home in a lonely prison cell, that he showed us what it is to be truly free.

Next July 4th PageKeep looking for our links to continue our Holiday Tour.

Presidents of the United States and their Vice Presidents
The Declaration of the United States and the Signers
Neat Graphics and links
Kids page full of fun
Great links telling about the events that brought about our Independence
Lots of links to information, midi links too.

This page was created on June 24, 1999. Have a Happy 4th of July!

Last update was June 9, 2004.

I am a member of the Tripod Holiday Pod. A pod is a group of people with pages that are similar, such as Holiday sites. Check it out and see for yourself what a neat thing this is!
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