Monday, July 4, 2011

Red, White and Blue

Today is Independence Day in the United States.  The celebration of the birth of our nation.  Our declaring that we are a free and sovereign nation.  Together, in one very big loud voice we declared that we were going to take no more.  We were bold and wrote a letter declaring that 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.
I love my country, don't get me wrong.  There are just some things about my country that we are still working to get right.  We still haven't perfected that whole unalienable rights and life, liberty and pursuit or remember that those are only among our unalienable rights, not our only inalienable rights.  We also tend to forget that our Declaration of Independence is not our governing document.  That would be the Constitution of the United States.  Two separate documents.  Two separate functions.  Although it saddens me that our Constitution sometimes forgets the principles on which we based our independence.

What does this day mean to most people?  Wearing a flag on their chest, putting up little rows of flags along the edge of their yard, barbecue, beer and fireworks (please don't mix those last two).  People play patriotic music and watch movies that are reminiscent of "Go go USA."  My middle child will be watching Independence Day, the Will Smith movie with aliens.) No.  The other Will Smith movie with aliens.  No no.  The Will Smith movie with aliens where he punches one's lights out.  Yep.  That one.)  I bought it for her this past year when she was frustrated that no network was playing it on July fourth.  We are grilling burgers after I get home from work (yep, I get to work today).  We may or may not go watch some fireworks.  Most likely we will  sit at home wishing that our neighbors would remember that fireworks have been banned this year because of the drought (only official fireworks are permitted).  And because it is my family and we are weird that way we will have an open discussion on what it means to have freedom.  I'm always interested in my children's viewpoints.  They are quite refreshing and enlightening.

So it is Independence Day.  The Fourth of July.  The President of the United States is alive (despite the Fox Twitter feed last night that was hacked into).  Our service members are working hard to assure our freedom (and the freedom of other people).  The sky is blue (at least for some of us).  The world is really a good place to be.  So go out and pursue a little happiness today.  (And if you must go into a retail business, be kind to those who are working so you can enjoy your day off.)

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