Independence Day

When the founding fathers began this experiment called the United States of America, they knew they had something special, something so unique to the world that they had to be careful but bold in all their endeavors.  It is a form of government that still, to this day, and to many inhabitants of this country, is not understood nor trusted, and is still the only one of its kind in the world.  But to the men and women who were the spark of the fire of liberty, they understood this huge undertaking and how delicate a balance this creation of theirs would be.  Thomas Jefferson said, ‘Timid men prefer the calm of despotism to the tempestuous sea of liberty.”  He knew that our freedom and liberties would be attacked from within and without and he sought to make a strong a case for as much boldness as he could and our country is continually tested as we grow and change and learn to navigate our basic rights of freedom and democracy with the pull of modern ideals.

As a nation, we have celebrated Independence Day in various forms throughout the years and it has developed into a day of family fun and celebration where each family, including military families, can pick the kind of celebration they enjoy.  Almost all Americans can think back to their childhood and have the fondness of memories of a July 4th celebration gone by.  It is a testament to not only our forefathers but also to the millions of military personnel and their families who have kept watch and served so the rest of us can keep the freedoms and liberties that so many have fought, died and suffered for our sake.

But the 4th of July it is not a day to be sad or despondent.  It was set aside as a day of celebration, a day of joy and happiness and a sense of purpose for all Americans.  It is a day to be bold in your patriotism.  John Adams himself foretold,  “It will be celebrated…with pomp and parade..bonfires and illuminations from one end of this continent to the other.”   And one of the most beloved American writers of wit and common sense, a woman who spoke frankly about America and her children was Erma Bombeck.  When writing about this day set aside especially to commemorate the freedoms of this country she said, “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.”

Our country is one that is proud and strong and, quite honestly, loves a good party with fun and food and family, and this July 4th should be no different.  Take the time to read about what the founders thought about this day and then go out and make this day one that your family will remember for years to come.   Patriotism should be a word that is shared and appreciated and by celebrating this day with our family and friends shows our deep gratitude for being blessed enough to live in the most wonderful country on earth.

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Why The Flag Has Its Day

 

The Flag Resolution of 1777 which was adopted at the Second Continental Congress in Philadelphia on June 14, 1777 reads as follows: “Resolved, that the flag of the United States be thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field representing a new constellation.”

This description expresses the direction of design that the 2nd Continental Congress wanted to convey to Continental patriots while in the process of forming a new nation…our nation, but it’s unclear whether they realized the evolution of what their first efforts would yield.

Over our nation’s history, the United States has had many symbols, statues and monuments which have been used to portray our values and beliefs but none more discussed and, in some cases, more debated and disputed than our flag. It has been in the middle of protests, held in contempt by some, raised and lowered with respect and pride, held up in victory and cheered when on the move; burned, stepped on and torn, but it has also been the comforting cloth we choose to wrap around our most heartbreaking losses and most beloved citizens.

It has been altered more than a few times to embrace the growth of a vibrant and expanding country and has essentially become the heart and soul of our nation’s pride.  It is the epicenter of the country’s depth of spirit and the most enduring symbol of our land; its resilience mirroring our own chaotic history as we move forward into a confident and optimistic future, giving us hope, pride and resolve to keep moving forward with strong faith and lasting enthusiasm for individual liberties and freedom.

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