How was your Fourth of July?
One of the things I love about this particular holiday is that most people do, in some way, mark the real occasion for the day; celebrating the courage of the Founding Fathers as the original thirteen united States of America declared independence from the rule of the King of England. It was an important turning point not only for our country, but for world history, too.
Unlike the real meaning of other civil holidays (sadly, often lost at the end of a the three day weekend), July 4th is a clebration that stands on its own. There is red, white and blue everywhere and on nearly everyone! Drive through nearly any town and you’ll notice an abundance of American flags on front porches, in flower beds and along curbs. Communities gather to celebrate our country and its freedoms with parades and fireworks. Marching bands play patriotic numbers, children wave flags, everyone stands up and stops talking when the flag passes by. Families gather for picnics, barbecues, and baseball games.
July 4th is unlike most other holidays.
Today, I am thankful for “small-town America” celebrations in towns and cities across these United States of America.
I’ve seen posted messages reminding us that while the country declared independence, not all people won independence that day. That is true. Citizens’ rights of many types have certainly evolved over the years and remain a work in progress. However, in this country, we have the right to those freedoms, which then becomes the evidentiary basis for that action.
Not everyone agrees with the government; however, in this counry we have the right to express our differing opinion, through speech, assembly and vote. Not everyone lives a good life, however, everyone in this country has the right to pursue whatever happiness means to them. Not everyone agrees on who God is or even if one exists; however, in this country we have the right to worship a god of our choosing, or not.
If Thomas Jefferson had not drafted the original declaration, if the Continental Congress had not debated and redrafted the document, if those 56 men had not bravely stepped forward to sign it, who knows how history might have turned out?
The USA may not be perfect, but I would still rather live here than anywhere. To me, that is worth celebration.