My sister was born on the Fourth of July. Naturally, her birthday cake was always iced with red, white and blue frosting. Our father and grandfather served in the army. Our house sported an American flag on all patriotic holidays.

In the classroom, I taught my students to respectfully stand when the National Anthem is played and to take their hats off at ball games when it’s sung. The hand is on the heart for the Pledge of Allegiance.

Yes, I’m a dyed-in-the-wool patriotic American. I believe our government is the best form of government in the world. If you don’t like what’s happening in our government, work to change it. Vote. Vote even if you DO like what’s happening. It’s a privilege, a right, and a duty.

I’m going to climb off my soapbox now and wish everyone a safe and sane Fourth of July. Remember what price we continue to pay to be “free,” and count your blessings.