It’s difficult to miss that one of those great and uniquely American holidays, Independence Day, is upon us.
For many, the 4th of July immediately evokes thoughts of fireworks, picnics, family time, poolside barbecues, baseball ballgames, outdoor concerts . . . in a phrase, many of our great American pastimes.
We are also bombarded with advertisements of 4thof July sales, clearance extravaganzas and every kind of merchandising event imaginable.
But as we eat, entertain, celebrate and shop to our hearts’ content, it is my wish that each of us will also remember – and take time to pay tribute to – the reason we memorialize this particular day and what it means to live in a truly democratic society.
We are fortunate in every way to be American citizens, to benefit from the struggles and triumphs of our forefathers, and to live in this great land.
Our nation may be facing some tough times; we certainly have our fair share of scoundrels, naysayers and outright enemies; and we most definitely aren’t perfect.
But I, for one, never lose sight of the fact that I live in a country where nearly anything is possible given the right motivation and aspiration; where I can speak my mind publicly and with impunity as long as I am not threatening to harm another; and where I can even legally destroy the symbol of our country, the American flag.
The Declaration of Independence says it best . . .
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.
That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or abolish it, and to institute a new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to affect their Safety and Happiness.
Have a wonderful, reflective Independence Day!