Fourth of July - Amber Valdez
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Fourth of July

Fourth of July as a kid used to be of my favorite holidays. Fireworks, junk food, creating my very best fourth of July outfit,  & play.⁠⁠
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For most of my life, I still can’t remember many fourths where I wasn’t singing the star-spangled banner with pouring down my face belting “I’m proud to be an American” feeling so much pride & gratitude in my heart for our soldiers who gave their lives for our freedom.⁠⁠
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But today although I’m forever grateful for the military, their sacrifice, and excited to see my friends, If I’m honest I’m waking up with heaviness on my heart because it’s clear that every American is not free.⁠⁠
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Today when you celebrate, please do not forget to honor the Indigenous original people of this land. Those that honored, tended, loved and honored the land long before it was stolen from them who are still suffering long-term effects from colonization which isn’t the freedom the 4th of July songs claim for all.
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Please keep them in your hearts today as this day is very painful for them. Let us acknowledge their sacrifice, have compassion for their heartbreak, wisdom and practices. Pray and learn how to we can do better.

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