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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Independence Day sparks freedom appreciation

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Photo by Abbey Santoro

Independence Day will be celebrated on July 4 which falls on a Sunday this year. 

As Americans prepare for Independence Day, student veterans emphasize the importance of the freedoms that make America unique.
Independence Day is celebrated on July 4 every year. The date was set aside to commemorate the birth of the United States as an independent nation when the Declaration of Independence was signed on July 4, 1776. It’s a day of picnics, barbecues, baseball games and time with loved ones. Texas A&M will be hosting a drive-in style fireworks show at the RELLIS campus in celebration. But significantly, Independence Day is meant to appreciate the liberties Americans hold and those who fight for them.
After the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001 brought devastation to the U.S., university studies sophomore David Glen said he was inspired to serve his country.
“That’s pretty much the reason why I joined the military,” Glen said. “I was deployed to Afghanistan and then spent my last year in Korea.”
As a veteran, Glen said his experience in the military resulted in Independence Day holding more significance.
“To me, it’s a celebration of our freedoms,” Glen said. “Especially when I think of all the wars veterans have fought, it reminds me to hold onto those freedoms.”
Since returning from deployment, Glen said he values time with loved ones more than ever.
“The Fourth of July, I always like to spend it with my family, especially after missing them when I was in Afghanistan,” Glen said. “This year, we’re going to the fireworks in Kurten and having a barbecue.”
Also hoping to catch fireworks, veteran Shawna Uhl, Class of 2020, said her military experience was incredibly impactful. After years of intensive training from the Great Lakes to Pensacola, FL, Uhl said she received her station assignment.

“I was stationed in Jacksonville, FL, then medically retired [after] I got into a car accident, which put everything on hold,” Uhl said. “But while I was there, it was a good experience. I enjoyed flying and loved what I did for the amount of time I was able to.”

Uhl said Independence Day means celebrating the privilege of being a free nation and thinking of loved ones who have been and  are still in active duty.

“I think that’s something we need to showcase more and have that comradery,” Uhl said. “It means a lot because I’ve had friends go overseas and go on deployments, and some have made it back, but others haven’t. It definitely is much more to me than just another day.”

In regard to his military experience, Marine Corps veteran Robert Liu, Class of 1977, said it was both diverse and rewarding. 

“I served four years in the Marine Corps as a radiation supply specialist and got deployed once on a boat,” Liu said. “For the most part, I worked a lot in the warehouse. I worked a little bit on the accounting side as an accounting clerk, and I enjoyed it and all of the people.”

For him, Liu said the Fourth of July equates to looking back at the nation’s history and honoring the core value of selfless service.

“It makes me look back on the founding of this country, and I cannot even begin to imagine what it was like when they were writing this document and what they were going through,” Liu said. “The military continues to carry on that tradition of protecting our country.”

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