Well here we are, the end of a really beautiful day here in Sunny Southern California. Patrick and I just finished up having a little Bar-B-Que/Cookout here at the house, just the two of us. His family is away for the weekend so we have the whole place to ourselves, which is a rarity. It has been nice. We are getting ready to watch a movie in just a little while, "Eating Out", no is it not porn!! All around us we can hear all the illegal firework going off all over our neighbor, you see, it is TOTALLY against the law to shoot fireworks in LA, BUT, you can buy them, you just can't fire them off, I have always found that to be a little interesting. Also there are many many sirens of police cars and fire trucks in the distance, I an already tell ya, this is going to be a long night!!

For those of you who do not live in Southern Cali, it really was a beautiful day. Earlier today I drove over to San Pedro to attend the ringing of the Korean Friendship Bell. I am not going to go into much about the Bell in the post, it will have one all its own very shortly, but I do want to
tell you it was a very moving experience for me. The Bell itself was a gift from the people of Korea to the US in 1976 to honor our Bicentennial. It sits on a hill over looking the Pacific Ocean
and the setting itself is breathtaking. The Bell is only ran 4 times a year, July 4th being one of them. Several years ago around Thanksgiving, Patrick took me for a drive around San Pedro and we stopped at the Bell. Ever since then I have always wanted to go to one of the times when they rang it, I really wanted to hear what it sounded like.

So we all met around 10:30 this morning, all 300 of us and the Bell. It was a foggy morning when the
program started but by the end the Sun was shining in all its glory. There were speeches and songs and flag waving. Now to be honest with you, it has been a very long time since I have
been anywhere where we said the Pledge of Allegiance and sang the Star Spangle Banner, but sing we did. As the program was in progress I looked around and was watching the reaction of different people in the crowd, some of us were sitting and some were standing around the hillside. Many of the crowd were older men and woman who had served in the Armed Forces during WWII and the Koran War. Many of them were Korean Americans who had served and they came to the event proudly in their uniforms. When the time came for the presenting of the colors (the Flags), the Korean Ameicans were the first on their feet. As we said the Pledge of Alliance, there was a young man sitting close to me with his parents, and he was wearing a cap.
An older lady sitting close turned to him and asked him to please remove his hat as we said the Pledge. Another lady sitting directy in front of me kept wiping the tears from her eyes as we said the Pledge and sang the Star Spangle Banner. I was so moved. Here I was sitting in the midst of a group of people who really sacrificed parts of their lives so I could freely sit where I was this morning and celebrate the birth of America. I was sitting with a group of people who really understood what the Pledge of Allegence was all about.

Mostly these days all we hear about our Country is in what bad shape She is in. Lately all you see in the news and on TV is how people all over the world seem to hate us these days. We really hear very little about how GREAT our America is anymore. But She is STILL the greatest nation on the face of the earth. If it wasn't for the USof A, most of the countries who say they hate us, would not be as well off as they are.

So I hope you will join me, in remembering all the Great and Wonderful things there are about
our America. And when you hear all the crap that is being said about her, I hope you will just remember what an honor it is to still live "in the land of the free, and the home of the brave",

And O Yeah, the sound of the Friendship Bell ...is outstanding!!

Happy July 4th, Happy 232nd Birthday America!!