I am an American. And for all her flaws, I love my country. Today, though, as the barbecues finish up and the echoes of fireworks die away, I ask you to consider what it was all about.
As you dug out–or bought new–an Old Navy 4th of July tank top, was it because that’s just what Americans do? Sadly, for many, that’s exactly why. Today is a day of picnics, beer, and pyrotechnics finished with a veneer of “Murica” patriotism. Worse, it’s become ingrained our our cultural subconsciousness.
Today, the calendar shows that the date is July 4th…but it’s time we refocus on the recognition of Indpendence Day. It’s time we honor the courage of not only those who place themselves in harm’s way in defense of liberty–and for which they certainly deserve gratitude–but those who took a stand against the British monarchy 239 years ago.
Imagine the fear and uncertainty of Thomas Payne, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and George Washington as they sought to secure freedom out of oppression and liberty out of tyranny. They recognized that the system under which they lived no longer served their needs and interests, and with great courage, sought great change.
This is not to encourage rebellion, necessarily, but to simply ask all Americans to remember that change is always possible. It may require unvelievable perseverance and effort, but it can be done. Our founders believed that we, as a people, deserved better than British colonial rule. They not only declared indpendence, but risked everything to earn it.
That is what today is about. We honor our freedom. We revel in our liberty. We celebrate our independence.