Even though we are living in Israel, we are celebrating the freedom of our country in America. Thomas Jefferson drafted the Declaration of Independence on a writing desk that could fit on his lap and the document was a justification for a revolt against the British. July the fourth is the day that congress accepted Jefferson's declaration but it was actually written on the 2nd of July. "By the dawn’s early light" in 1814, Francis Scott Key peered through a spyglass and was inspired when he spotted an American flag still waving over Baltimore’s Fort McHenry after a night of heavy British bombardment. This was during the war of 1812. It was later put to the music of an English drinking song but not decreed our official national anthem until 1931. Francis was called "Frank" by his friends and family and penned the words to "The Stay Spangled Banner" in an effort to express his patriotism. The national anthem has four verses but traditionally on the first verse is sung at sporting events and patriotic occasions. All four verses conclude with the same line: “O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.” In honor of the Americans at the Jerusalem Center, our muslim chefs made a great effort to prepare a special American dinner with hot dogs, hamburgers, french fries, ice cream and watermelon slush! It has to be such a difficult task as chefs to prepare food for others while they are observing ramadam for 40 days. The last day of ramadan is Wednesday, July 6. We love and appreciate all the workers at the JC and they work hard to take care of all our needs. Photo: Head chef. Photo: Assistant chef. We had a very busy day as we were hosting a concert so Garth was one of the first in line. Photo: Rebecca, one of the students, is majoring in clarinet at BYU. She is such a darling girl and talented in so many ways. The serving table was spread with everything you could imagine! You can't have hamburgers and hot dogs without french fries! The chefs set up a barbecue grill outside and grilled chicken also. It was tender and delicious! Is your mouth watering? The tables were decorated with flags and red rose petals. The chefs went to a great effort to help us celebrate our day of Independence. Photo: Tina and David Whitchurch. He is director of the Jerusalem Center from BYU. The chefs made an American flag cake. We had cake, more cakes, and oat cookies. And . . . you can't have cake without ice cream and Dane Jensen was eager to get his. "I scream for ice cream!" The students always look forward to Sabbath dinner because that is the day they know they'll have ice cream so having it on another day was certainly a day to celebrate!! We wish each of you who are so far away a day of celebration and the blessing of living in a land that allows us so many freedoms. However, with all the terrible things that are happening around us in the world, the freedom we know is being questioned. It is sad that just a few people in this world can take away what so many of our nation’s ancestors worked so hard to achieve. May we learn to love one another, pray for each other, and stand strong in what we know is right. HAPPY JULY 4th!!