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Not all families able to spend holiday together

Anyone who took a relaxing drive through the Tri-State during the holiday weekend was likely greeted with familiar scenes.

The smell of ribs or hamburgers or hot dogs drifted from grills on the cool July breeze. Children laughed and played in anticipation of the fireworks displays many knew would cap the weekend.

The July 4th holiday has become a time for families to come together and spend time reflecting on what it means to be free. We hope they also reflect on the men and women who fought to make this freedom a reality and those who continue to fight for those same freedoms today.

While many of us were blessed enough to have the weekend or a day or even a few hours to spend with our loved ones, there are many Americans who are not afforded this luxury - because they continue to protect our freedoms, our lives and our homes.

Each of us should salute the soldiers in our nation's armed forces, the law enforcement officers who protect our communities, the firefighters who remain on call and the emergency crews who are at the ready.

These men and women do not have the luxury of taking a day off because tragedy never rests. Our soldiers continue to fight neverending battles in Iraq, Afghanistan and other terrorist havens across the globe. Terrorists do not take a day off.

Much closer to home here in Lawrence County, our emergency response personnel were busy. A weekend shooting that cost one man his life, a tragic car accident that killed three and a house fire in Ironton all kept law enforcement and emergency crews from their families. But they were all there when needed.

We should be thankful that these men and women care so much about their jobs and their communities to sacrifice of themselves for the greater good. This selflessness was what built our nation into what it is today and this same show of human spirit will be what carries us forward into the 21st century.

The Fourth of July may have passed but each of us should take a moment to think about those who do not get holidays or long weekends; those who sacrifice to make America truly the land of the free.