Summer has finally arrived across the U.S. and people are out enjoying the weather, while some are planning to vacation over the 4th of July holiday. Independence Day is one of the largest celebrated holidays for Americans. Parades are a popular way to kick off the big day…with bands playing, tiny tots swirling batons and dancing groups, not-to-mention the showing of classic cars that brings nostalgia to the event, while throwing candy to all those waiting anxiously curbside. Usually there are law enforcement and military vehicles that trail behind, alongside those decorated vets who fought the war…real heroes, that’s what they all are. Making the most of this wonderful day is what most people plan to do.

There are local festivities in most places around the U.S. and families are planning BBQ’s, or attending one elsewhere. Some have purchased fireworks of their own, while others go out to watch the larger displays, usually in the city. It’s fun to be festive and easy to get carried away in the crowds. This year, my sister and I will be together, but what makes it special is the fact that our father owns a couple of classic cars, and we will all drive in the parade and toss out candy. I picked up 4th of July hats, necklaces and shirts…because we make the most of it, that’s the point. I’m thinking we will grill out or just attend the fairgrounds so we don’t have to cook.

While most of us understand what the 4th of July stands for, not all will acknowledge it. I say this…because it is of the utmost importance to remain vigilant throughout this particular day. ABC News had obtained a bulletin a couple of days ago with concerns from the FBI, DHS, NCTC as to the (domestic terrorists) possibilities, though ‘unaware’ of current plots specifically targeting such events (parades, Independence celebrations, and gatherings). Keep in mind that previous attacks in Homeland have happened with no warning … so remember, if you see suspicious activity anywhere, please report it immediately. Everyone needs to be aware of their surroundings through the day…into the evening hours. Having a plan in place with your families and friends is important, in the event chaos arises. I think having tags around children’s neck or wrists is also vital, in the event you get separated. While I can’t believe I have to say these things, my heart weighs heavy and can only pray that this holiday can be done in its modish American style…like years gone by. Thank you to all those that support these ongoing traditions around the world, and all those who served and still do so. May you all have a Blessed Independence Day, have fun and always keep an eye on your loved ones.

Make your week count.