Soon it will be time to get out the fireworks, set your lawn chair alongside the road and wait for the parade to pass by, to cheer and celebrate, but how many of us really know the reason we’re so happy?
Patriotism or love of country has dwindled somewhat in the United States. It seems only yesterday that we would decorate our bicycles with red, white and blue crepe paper; we’d line the streets to watch parades; our hearts would swell with pride when the flag was displayed.
I know that God has been a part of our country since its inception. Christian men signed the Declaration of Independance which begins with this sentence penned by Thomas Jefferson:
“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.”
This set the precedent for the “American Dream.” It nurtured the notion that success comes from hard work, the sweat of the brow and tears of disappointment – but it also contains the notion of never giving up. Somehow, over America’s short history, that dream has turned into a nightmare. We are a nation of many people – from many nations –from different governments, different cultures, different backgrounds – but with the same hopes for a new start in the land that offers so much to so many.
I remember feeling my heart beat with excitement along with the drums traversing down the street in perfect syncopation. The 4th of July was a special day, because it reminded us of our freedom – free to worship as we please – to speak our minds – to govern ourselves – to live as brothers with those who choose to live and work here.
We all crave freedom. We want the comfort of not living in fear. We desire the security of protection. We long for the hope of peace and contentment. We need to rekindle the pride that our founders had when they signed that amazing document. Our nation is worth so much to us as Americans. There is no other country on earth that allows so much freedom.
As we approach this National day of celebration, we should do as John Adams suggested many years ago.
“…It ought to be commemorated as a day of deliverance by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bell, bonfires, and illuminations from one end of this continent to the other…”
The signers of that document set a precedent that has lived for over 200 years. Those who have fought for our country have shed their blood for her. She is worth the fight. Thank God for allowing us to flourish and may He continue to bless our nation and restore our honor for her.