Happy 4th of July, everyone. This is really a very special time of year for all of us as we celebrate the founding of this great nation. I've spent the last 60 years on the 4th of July in the little town of Wolfeboro, New Hampshire, which really embodies the spirit of the 4th. Up there, of course, they call it "the fawth." And they have a wonderful little parade through town with the fire trucks and the Boy Scouts and the Girl Scouts and some floats they put together up there, and anybody's who's got an old car is invited to drive it. Everybody lines up on the sidewalk to cheer at the parade.
I went in to the parade a couple of years ago, and as I was on my way into town, I noticed that there were a couple of old gentlemen standing out in front of a little, white New England house with an American flag on the pole. And they were obviously World War II veterans helping each other get into their World War II uniforms. One was in the Navy; the other was in the Army. Their brass buttons were shined, their shoes were polished, their hats were clean and fresh. And there they were standing in front of the American flag; these two guys were at least in their 80s, trying to help each other get ready to celebrate the 4th.
We always go into town with our children in our boat and watch the fireworks on the 4th of July. It's a special, special occasion. It's always been a family vacation for us. We have a cookout on the 4th of July, a barbecue where we have hamburgers and hot dogs out in the backyard and corn on the cob and baked beans, and then we pile in the boat with all our kids and grandchildren, and we go to town to watch the fireworks.
So I hope you're having a good 4th of July, and I hope you'll all remember what a great blessing this country has been in all of our lives, and how much it has blessed the world.
I'm Bill Marriott, and thank you for helping me keep Marriott on the move.