Happy Independence Day

For all its warts and carbuncles, I’d still not want to live anywhere else.

That’s because there’s still a will, in this great nation, to do what is right.

And while we may disagree on what that is and how to go about it, that freedom to dissent, to argue, to rant and rave is more precious that you can imagine. Never do I go to bed at night concerned there will be a knock on my door and I’ll be taken away for something I’ve said or written.

I spent my youth in other countries as my father, a career Army officer, did his job. I saw first-hand what poverty really looks like. I got to see what the suppression of freedoms we take for granted entailed. I learned at an early age to appreciate what we have here and how important it is to work toward keeping us free. And certainly, I have my concerns and take the opportunity on this blog to voice them. But again, the simple act of doing that without fear is a blessing beyond reach for many in this world.

There’s an innate spirit that still lives in most Americans (and needs to be constantly nurtured) that says we can and will overcome all obstacles in our path and do it while we continue to live free. There are those among us who cynically denigrate any appeals to patriotism and would have us believe that being patriotic is more like a disease than a matter of pride in one’s country and its accomplishments. But the proof of their ignorance on the subject is found in the irony of their freedom to say such things without fear.

I find that most people who can’t muster pride in where they live and what it stands for have no pride in much of anything. I feel sorry for them.

That said, I’ve never felt patriotism meant “my country right or wrong”. Instead it meant trying to shorten that phrase to “my country – right” and working very hard to make that happen.

We’re independent today because a group of patriots pledged their “lives, fortunes and sacred honor” toward achieving a goal. It is and was a very noble goal. Today’s patriot needs to remember those original goals and ideals of our independence and renew the effort to keep them in the forefront of the political discussion. We are free today because of those ideals and goals, and we should never forget that.

Have a very happy 4th.

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