Americans are here today to celebrate Independence Day which is set aside from all other days to recall the United States' declaration of independence from Great Britain.
The document itself, The Declaration of Independence, was signed in the Pennsylvania State House (now Independence Hall) at Philadelphia in 1776. (I like this copy with the edits.)
Actually, the document was not signed until August 2 and August 3, 1776, but it was adopted on the Fourth of July so that is when we celebrate.
Like last year on this date, today the republic is looking a raggedy around the edges and some of us are worried, even frightened of what the current regime in Washington. D.C. is doing to our imperfect but always, until now, striving nation.
They are intent on trashing the reasons we have a Declaration of Independence in the first place.
Nearly every day, the president and his self-appointed minions in high places commit more outrages. Baby jails. Rollback of environmental protections. Vicious trade wars with allied countries. (Canada???) Open, overt racism and sexism. Lies, lies, lies. And – well, to track it is a full-time job.
The ultimate irony of today's holiday is that as we celebrate (or try to) the nation's rejection of a king 239 years ago, the president has made it abundantly clear that he doesn't like being president. He wants to be king, a tyrant like his “pals” who rule by fiat in Russia and North Korea.
We are heading in that direction, folks, and there is no one we have elected who can or will stop him.
There are many inspiring quotations from great thinkers about what the maintenance of freedom entails. I've chose three that speak to what we are up against during this assault on our nation's very existence:
“Liberty means responsibility. That is why most men dread it.” - George Bernard Shaw
“Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must undergo the fatigue of supporting it.” - Thomas Paine
“It does not take a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority.” - Samuel Adams
That's our job now. Every one of us who believes in the Declaration of Independence (which, by all reports coming from the federal government, does not include the president), must do what we are capable of to help preserve its ideals.
Take some time today with your family and friends to enjoy your barbecues, the parades in your town and fireworks tonight. We can do that even when we are worried and maybe frightened – we can use the respite for a day.
And here is a little history of fireworks I found online. I have no idea if it's true, but it's a good story.
Happy Fourth of July, everyone.