As this Independence Day draws to a close, salute the flag one more time, grab the last piece of apple pie, and prepare your fireworks for a big finish, because here comes the most American story since Independence Day the movie. Ready? Here we go.
A bald eagle has been freed from a tree in Rush City, Minnesota by a US Army veteran with a gun. Jason Galvin used a borrowed .22 rifle to sever a rope that had trapped the bird, firing some 150 shots in high wind at a target only 4 inches wide, breaking branches and destroying leaves, but never once hitting the eagle. Once its bonds were broken, and it fell to the soft underbrush below, Jason and onlookers named the bird — “Freedom.”
They named the eagle ‘Freedom’
The raptor survived the fall, and staff at a local raptor center said it was eating and drinking the day after its ordeal ended. It’s not clear how it originally got caught in the rope, but locals had spotted the majestic creature dangling upside down from the tree, 75 feet in the air, days before. Jackie Gervais Galvin called police and firefighters, but because the bird was so high, both agencies were unable to help and “deemed this was going to be a loss.” Not if Jason — a “very patriotic” Afghanistan vet — had anything to say about it. “Fourth of July, you know,” Jason told local KARE News. “That’s our bird. We can’t let it sit there.”
This story has everything an Independence Day story should — freedom, guns, a genuine desire to bestow liberty on most things, and an eagle. An eagle called Freedom! The only thing that makes this story a little less fourth-of-July-y is that the Galvin family called the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources to confirm Jason was okay to fire hundreds of rounds of ammunition at a federally protected species.