This has been a particularly sad as an old school friend has passed away and the sister of another school friend has passed away. It reminds me of how precious each day is and the importance of embracing each day with renewed life, and being grateful that I have that new day to enjoy the blessings of it. Over the last couple of years several schoolmates have passed on and each time it renews in me that gratitude that I really should have everyday for this life that I have and all of the blessings that I have that often I fail to see. As we prepare to celebrate the birth of this great nation may we ever be grateful for the blessings which we enjoy and not take them for granted. Many have fought and died for, and to protect those freedoms that we have, and may have to fight again. May our God bless this nation that I love.