NEW YORK — On my final day here I found a moment of solitude to sit on a park bench to reflect on the annual family vacation to Washington DC and New York City.
In front of me stood the Statue of Liberty and to my left the tall buildings of New York’s financial district, which included the shell of the Freedom Tower which stands 70 stories high now. It was a peaceful setting and I enjoyed my 15 minutes alone.
A giant blimp hovered overhead, a reminder of the Fourth of July celebrations that lie on the horizon. There are festivals, celebrations and remembrances that stretch from Harlem to to Liberty Island. Thousands will line the shores and streets of New Jersey and New York for Monday’s spectacular fireworks display. I wish I could hang around two more days to see it but it is time to return home. Besides, we will enjoy Sunday night fireworks at Greenfield Village.
This weekend is a time for peace, laughter and spending time with friends and family. But there are reminders that evil lurks in the background and wants to ruin this celebration of independence for us. I saw it on the path train, the underground system that takes you from Manhattan to New Jersey.
They were members of the United States Army armed for war against an enemy that will never stop trying to attack us. I did not see them on my morning commute but they were in full force by the afternoon. It was startling to see them at first but I quickly became comfortable with them. They are there to serve and protect.
Enjoy your weekend and more importantly enjoy the freedoms this country provides for us. Let’s watch out for one another and remember that no matter how tough life becomes, we are all we’ve got. There are people that hate us for our lifestyles and beliefs.
We must watch our backs no matter if we are strolling the Island of Manhattan or Mackinaw Island.
Happy Fourth of July weekend.