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-- -- for many of us the fourth of July means barbecue hot beer cold and fireworks to mark the birth of our nation.
But let me tell you about a fourth of July when they learned about how much more it really means -- a warm evening about.
Thirty years ago we watched fireworks from the balcony of my father's office on the East River.
As the sounds of the explosions bounced off this -- skyscrapers but it was like thunder.
With a broad strong looking man stepped inside the office off the terrorists.
-- -- in the corner.
His face was almost paralyzed with -- anxiety.
I summoned my father and we went to him.
The man quietly explained to us at the sound of rockets being shot into the air followed by the flash of -- and color and deafening noise.
Return into the field to Vietnam we served -- the united states army ranger.
My father put his hand on his shoulder.
And agreed that the fireworks reminded him two of the mortar fire he experienced.
And the lives Cecil lost as a marine at Iwo jima.
Within a few minutes his wife and many of the party goers returned inside knowing that someone was not feeling well.
-- -- in quiet support around us.
The army veteran the Rangers seemed embarrassed and he apologized he said I'm sorry to break -- the party.
My mother responded with tears in her eyes looking.
At the veterans of two wars and she said.
If it word free you we wouldn't be able to have.
This July 4 party.
And then this strong broad wonderful ranger led us all back to the fireworks overlooking the East River.
I learned a great lesson that night in downtown Manhattan.
As much as we love a parade or -- barbecue.
Or even a fireworks display were great political speech.
July 4 is the emotional some.
Of all of our struggles are strife.
And yes our exception thousands of people like no other people the world we celebrate our right to speak to assemble to worship to think.
Freely and without fear -- favor and we do -- with pride understanding the price that so many of paid for that privilege so tonight.
There's our children -- -- the rockets' red glare either.
To let's make sure we surround the modest young men -- women are quiet wounded warriors of Iraq and Afghanistan.
Limp into the shadows some time.
And let them know how grateful we are -- they're sacrificing their courage when we see a woman caring for children.
And greeting the husband she lost.
Let's take them -- by the hand and announce as my mother did if it weren't for you we wouldn't be having this party.
In this way all of us each of us can be reborn this.
And each and every fourth of July.
And that's a prescription for America.
Happy fourth and -- you inflating Gretchen.
Thanks so much.
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