Our Gratitude to the US Military,
Law Enforcement, Fire Fighters, and Others
Who Guard Our Nation and Freedoms

July 4th, This and Every Year

To Members of the Armed Forces:

We celebrate Independence Day this year and every year, not with fireworks and exuberance, but with quiet reflection on the uniqueness of our country and the unique privileges and liberties we enjoy as citizens of the USA. We are reminded of what a true blessing this is, and hold a deep appreciation for our homeland.

As we reflect on this, our hearts and minds go to the courageous, dedicated men and women of the armed forces who are the guardians of our nation and the first to put themselves, voluntarily, in harms way in foreign lands to protect our nation and our freedoms.

These self-sacrificing men and women have our deepest, eternal gratitude. We only wish there were a way we could send this message personally to every active duty and reserve member of our armed forces. We do, of course, have the same gratitude and wishes on behalf of retirees from the armed services, whose past sacrifices and service have made it possible for this nation to endure.

We cannot express our deep gratitude and appreciation in words. Please, therefore, accept our simple thank-you, and imagine, if you will be so kind, the depth of our feelings.

To National and Local Law Enforcement, Fire Fighters, and Others Working to Preserve Our Nation and Freedoms:

We are, of course, grateful to you also for risking, and too often losing, your lives to preserve public safety and protect this nation against internal threats and terrorism from abroad. You too are on the front line, defending the safety and freedom of the public, knowingly volunteering to put yourselves in danger to "serve and protect."

Most visible, and appropriately so, are the thousands of state and local police and fire fighters. Without you, our society would come unravelled. Thank you all for your dedicated service and many sacrifices. To federal law enforcement members, who are less visible but still well known, we also extend our thanks and sincere gratitude. Finally, to others (you know who you are) whose existence and services in maintaining the safety of our nation are (appropriately) less well known, we thank you also.

Whether part of the armed services, local and federal law enforcement and public safety, or "other" agencies, all of you are members of "Team America," serving and sacrificing to protect this nation "against all enemies, foreign and domestic."

To all of you, we sincerely thank you and offer our deepest and most sincere gratitude.

Respectfully and gratefully yours,

Hal & Karen Hawley