Next week marks the annual observation of our national holiday – the 4th of July.

For many of us, that means barbecues and fireworks – traditions we’ve held onto since childhood.

But sometimes, we tend to forget what the holiday is all about.

July 4th  is also known as Independence Day.

As you know, this harkens back to a time in our nation’s history when we first declared our independence from the mother country.

The signing of the Declaration of Independence made this moment official.

Webster’s Dictionary defines independence as:  1.The state or quality of being independent; freedom from dependence; exemption from reliance on; self-subsistence of maintenance; direction of one’s own affairs without interference.

As you can see, there are many ways to declare ones independence.

Most of us have approached this phase of our lives during our late teens and twenties, when we tend to break away from our parents influence and strike out on our own.

Others, such as my grandparents, declared their independence by leaving behind their homeland, and immigrating to the United States, dreaming of the possibilities for themselves and their families.

Independence, after all, is all about Freedom.