If you’re anything like me, Independence Day is a holiday for a cute red, white and blue-themed outfit, a few beers and some fireworks to end the night. It’s a day for sunshine and friends, backyard barbecues and hometown parades. But most importantly, it’s a day to celebrate freedom.

Two hundred and thirty-six years ago, the 56 courageous and defiant founders of our country took a stand for liberty and our unalienable human rights. They led the way in a revolution that would change not only their own country, but the entire world. It humbles me to think of the bravery it took to sign a declaration that could have not only cost them their personal freedoms, but their lives. More than that, it reminds me of the heroism that takes place each and every day to keep our freedoms free.

Last October, I took a trip to our nation’s capitol. This was not a business trip or a chance vacation. I went to honor my cousin, a Marine staff sergeant who had been killed in action while serving as an explosive ordnance disposal technician. Despite his Purple Heart, Bronze Star, numerous other medals and a decade of service, it’s hard to remember him as anything but that freckly kid who always had a smile on his face. He left behind an amazing wife, a perfect little daughter, and a baby son he’ll never meet. I have no doubt he’ll always be the bravest person I will ever know.

It’s because of him, and the members of our armed forces, that the freedom that we celebrated so proudly this month is still here to commemorate. While Independence Day is spent celebrating the vision and valor of our nation’s founders, it is only appropriate to honor our independence by remembering all who continue to protect and sacrifice in defense of that initial declaration.

Ashley Henderson Huff, Epsilon Epsilon, a first lieutenant in the United States Army, was the first known sorority casualty in the conflict in Iraq.

Though the Fourth of July has come and gone, I hope you all will find a way to support those who uphold our Founding Fathers’ vision of freedom and justice for all, including some who even share our mystic bond. One wonderful way would be to donate toward endowing the Ashley Henderson Huff Memorial Scholarship by giving to the Sigma Kappa Foundation. The military men and women who protect our country truly embody the Sigma Kappa values of service and loyalty, and we are all so privileged to share a pledge and a promise with a number of them.

3 Responses to Honoring Freedom

  1. Teri Centner Teri Centner says:

    I love the idea of donating to Foundation in honor of Ashley Henderson Huff. I think I’ll make it an annual thing, every 4th of July when I remember how lucky I am to live in the land of the free!

  2. […] Warrior Project. As I’ve written about before, my cousin gave his life in service of our country last year. So I have an extra incentive to give […]

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