Randy Ansley

Next week, we will be celebrating one of our favorite holidays, the Fourth of July. This is one of the few national holidays that the government can't figure out how to move to Monday. For most of us it is a day to be with family and friends perhaps enjoying a picnic or a barbecue and maybe a softball game followed by fireworks in the evening.

Some folks will no doubt be grinding away on an ice-cream freezer while others keep asking andquot;Do they have the Fourth of July in England?andquot;

For those who don't have an ice-cream freezer the Historical Society will have its 26th annual pie and ice cream social at the museum. They will be firing off the cannon in front of the museum to start the parade. No matter how you celebrate the Fourth, it is a time to remember just how lucky we are to live in such a wonderful place.

Honoring those who serve

There are people in the world that would deny us our freedoms if they could. They keep trying to destroy what we have to bring us down to their miserable lifestyles, but Americans are resilient and are not about to give into these international thugs.

From the very beginning it has been a struggle to stand up and declare our freedoms. Adversity tends to make Americans come together and stand shoulder to shoulder against those who do not respect the rights and freedoms that we have come to enjoy. And who is at the front line of the ongoing business of preserving our way of life?

Our Military. Our soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines and Coast Guard are all volunteers who spend their days away from home in duty stations, on ships and bases all over the world.

These dedicated men and women are out there in sometimes very dangerous assignments to preserve our way of life. Their selfless attention to duty may find themselves on guard duty in the middle of the night or baby-sitting the engines of a ship in the middle of nowhere.

They could be working in a hospital or carrying a rifle. There are hundreds of jobs out there for our military and they are all someplace else. There is one thing that costs very little but to the women and men in our armed services it is a gift of unimaginable value; it is a letter from home.

Letters from home

This year as the butter from your corn on the cob is running down your chin or that watermelon juice is dripping on your shirt, remember those people who are out there for you and write them a letter from home.

Day to day events may not seem very important to you, but to those good folks away from home they are like gold. As long as you have your pen and paper out, how about writing a letter to their families as well?

Randy Ansley, the Battery Point Lighthouse keeper, can be reached at