By Lars Dalseide | July 4 2013 11:33

Remembering Independence Day with family, friends and country

Civil War era firearms for Sportsman Channel's Memorial Marathon of NRA's Guns & Gold

Fairfax, Virginia - July 4th. The day of American independence. A day celebrated, or at the very least recognized, throughout the world.

But the day marks more than the birth of a nation. It is a day of beginnings and endings. A day of achievements. Some more prestigious than others, but significant all the same.

The 4th of July is home to the creation of a grand democratic experiment and the end of colonial rule. The birth of Presidents (Calvin Coolidge in 1872) and the death of Presidents (Adams, Jefferson and Monroe). An unprecedented growth of territory (the Louisiana Purchase) and a historic loss in battle (Gettysburg). The expansion of America's ability learn (opening of the Tuskegee Institute), to build (beginning the construction of the Erie Canal) and explore (Pathfinder lands on Mars).

Each, through their own brand of generosity, adding to the hodgepodge of life, freedom and experience that is America.

In The American Crisis, Thomas Paine wrote that "Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it."

So go out and enjoy the day. Fire up the grill, play with the kids and watch the fireworks go boom. It's been a long year so far and it's only getting longer. Just remember what got you here. What got all of us here. What makes America, America.

Happy 4th of July everyone.

4th of July Fireworks at the Washington Monument in Washington, DC

If you're looking for something to do before the fireworks kick off, swing by the National Firearms Museum at 11250 Waples Mill Road in Fairfax, Virginia. Open 9:30 am to 5:00 pm, the NRA Museums follows the history of America, from Plymouth Rock to today, through the evolution and utilization of firearms.

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