We have come through another year of birthday celebrations for our nation. This one was not the usual party. Our nation has been in the midst of more growing pains as the corona virus struck all of us, giving us time to think about important things and to care about each other again. Somehow that caring turned angry and impatience and intolerance reared its ugly head.
In a year which man would like to forget, 2020 has had its share of insanity. A congress has been engaged in a period of three and a half years of investigating a president they cannot accept as the elected voice of the people. Impeachment hearings were held which seemed designed as the epitome of this discontent.
A virus caused lockdowns in almost every state. A typical quarantine usually requires 14 days in isolation, but this one has caused further division instead of bringing us together. A black man was unjustly held captive by a white police officer and he died, causing the police officer to be arrested for murder. Protests broke out. The anger of many years again reared its head. Agitators turned peaceful protests into mob insanity and destruction of property, businesses and the very community that was protesting resulted.
Each day, I wake up wondering what will happen next. Each day there is another act of violence, injustice, hate, unlawful behavior and more and more stirring the pot. Each piece of the gigantic puzzle only pulls the pieces further and further apart and there is no sense to be made of it.
The day in which we celebrate our independence from England was devoid of parades. There were few backyard gatherings. The heat may have forced those gatherings inside, but the freedom to go to the beach or gather in marches of protest was not hindered. The fireworks were not organized – more like I imagine the sounds of excitement in 1776 when the declaration was signed and finally we’d become an independent nation. There were probably sounds of gunfire into the air rather than the explosive, colorful displays we’ve become accustomed to on the fourth of July. The fireworks went on well into the night in my neighborhood. Not the spectacular kind, but the very noisy, booming kind.
Now the sounds are silent and so are the loud, angry voices, but they will return. This is America. We have the right to protest. We have the freedom to speak as we choose. We can worship in our own way, share good times and bad with our neighbors and vote for the people we deem fit for office. We can grow a small business into a larger more successful one. We can rise out of poverty with ingenuity and hard work. These along with many others are our rights as citizens of this great country.
There still remains a remnant of those who choose to love this country even in bad times. We know the cost endured to keep our freedoms and create new ones. We know about the blood shed in her defense. We realize that nothing on the face of this earth is perfect, but we remain committed to this country because it’s more than just a country. It’s an idea – an action – a place to be proud of and I am proud to call her mine. May God continue to bless America and her people. Only He can do so.