Today we celebrate American independence. We give thanks for the rights we have and for the men and women who fought over the centuries for us to obtain and keep those freedoms. Today we wear the colors, use words like liberty and freedom, and hopefully eat food with people we value. Maybe you will be acknowledging and celebrating our national birth day a different way, no matter how be sure you do it with gusto.
It took guts to get our country thus far. Treason, treachery, torture, and of course being willing to speak against authority. All of these had to be top of mind to even have the notion that the United States of America could or should exist. No colony had ever seceded from it’s parent country, it had never been done. Our founding fathers had to be utterly fed up with how they were being treated to choose such a drastic move. It also meant gathering support and dividing families, as not everyone thought leaving English rule was the best option. Brother was pit against brother, neighbor agains neighbor, and there was no guarantee of the outcome. It meant risking everything in order to put forth the idea that “a government of the people, by the people, for the people” was worth everything.
I wonder what Benjamin Franklin would think about where we are now as a nation? We use words like rights, action, personal choice, political correctness and freedom to choose. Do we REALLY know what those words mean? Can we even fathom having to risk our lives and our fortunes in order to protect our future generations ability to live free? Would we be willing to stand before a firing squad today simply because we dared to utter the thought that there might be a better form of government?
We take so much for granted. I have the ability to write whatever I want and post it online for the world to read and comment. I have no fear as I sit on my porch and type that soldiers or the police will pull up and arrest me for my ideas let alone sharing them with anyone who can read. All I hear are birds chirping and lawn mowers, sounds of peace and prosperity.
Liberty and freedom are not an easy path nor will they continue to be easy. Let us give thanks, rest well and enjoy this national holiday. Let us enjoy the parades, the cook outs, the games, the fireworks and the ability we have to do whatever we want with whoever we want within the law of our land. Let us give thanks for Liberty and justice for all even as we struggle to work together as a country. And let us never forget that long ago men and women freely chose to go a completely new direction so that we could live in freedom, mow our lawns and wear red, white and blue.