Independence Day

“You have to love a nation that celebrates its independence every July 4, not with a parade of guns, tanks, and soldiers who file by the White House in a show of strength and muscle, but with family picnics where kids throw Frisbees, the potato salad gets iffy, and the flies die from happiness. You may think you have overeaten, but it is patriotism.” ~Erma Bombeck

A few Americans are looking at New York City from the Statue of Liberty’s re-opened crown today. Many will see fireworks, if not in their home towns, but on television. Many are spending the day with family. Many are having–or will soon have–a fantastic meal. All of us who celebrate this day one way or another are enjoying what we have: freedom.

We did not achieve freedom easily; in fact, in the years leading up to the vote of Congress on July 2, 1776, most colonists were not seeking or expecting independence from England.

We have not kept freedom easily, whether one considers wars or laws or political debates or a catalogue of threats dealt with.

As we enjoy the day, perhaps we will put off thinking that we will not keep our freedom easily. We have the power to destroy ourselves or to maintain the best of what we’ve had even within the scope of ever-changing conditions and challenges.

It’s a matter we must see to, as those who’ve come before us have seen to it for 233 years. I hope we remain up to the task.

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