The 4th of July is a meaningful holiday in which we celebrate not only our nation's birthday but also the freedoms that make this country great. In the midst of our celebrations, however, we sometimes forget that the freedom we hold so dear was hard won. This 4th of July, why not dig a little deeper, and look for a meaningful way to commemorate the day.

  • Learn about the Founding Fathers. How much do you know about the people who fought for our independence? There's a wealth of information available, so pick one or more of the Founding Fathers and spend some time learning all you can. Share your newfound knowledge with friends and family to enrich their understanding of the holiday.
  • Read up on our important documents. You may have only a vague understanding of the Declaration of Independence and Constitution, but they're available for you to read. It might even be interesting to read the Declaration of Independence or the Preamble to the Constitution aloud at your 4th of July gathering.
  • Talk to your children about our freedoms. Although children are taught at school about the Revolutionary War and the birth of the United States, you may feel your child does not appreciate freedom enough. It's easy to take it for granted, but a bit of conversation can spark a new understanding.
  • Thank a veteran. Expressing gratitude to a veteran may be as simple as calling a family member who served. With a little more forethought, you can also arrange a visit with a VA hospital or veterans' home.
  • Show reverence for the flag. Far more than a 4th of July decoration, our flag has deep meaning and symbolism. Learn about it with your family, display it proudly and take some time to understand proper flag etiquette.
  • Send a care package to soldiers. If there are soldiers in your family, it's easy to send a little gift to thank them for their service. In fact, the USPS offers a Military Care Kit with packaging, instructions, and forms you'll need to send a package overseas. If you don't know any troops but would like to send a care package anyway, organizations such as Support our Troops are a good resource.
  • Share stories of heroic family members. Did your grandfather serve in World War II or Korea? Was your brother a part of Operation Desert Storm? Tell the stories of your heroes, and talk about them with other family members. You may even learn something new about your own family history.

At Valley of the Temples, we have a deep appreciation for the freedoms we celebrate on the 4th of July. That's why we provide many services to honor our nation's veterans, including veterans' discounts and special services to honor the brave men and women of our armed forces. To learn more, call (808) 725-2798 .