Folks, we’re about to celebrate our 240th year of existence as the United States of America. Parties, burgers and fireworks will be abundant. Lakes all over the country will be full of drunken boaters. “Stars and Stripes Forever” will be played by bands and orchestras coast to coast. American flags will wave everywhere you look, American hearts will swell with pride, and American retailers will offer DEEP discounts the preceding weekend.
As Michael Keaton said in Night Shift: “Is this a great country, or what?”
It is, folks. An amazing country, from sea to shining sea.
But, as we all know, there’s definitely room for improvement.
I don’t want to dwell on that, because this is a party, after all. But, I can’t totally ignore it. Economy, environment, race relations, education, our whole election process, health care, guns…and I’m just warming up.
But, one of this country’s greatest strengths is its capacity for evolution, dating all the way back to our forward-thinking Founding Fathers, who birthed this beautiful experiment. Progress is possible, these problems are solvable, a better future for everyone is in sight.
But, we gotta work for it. All of us.
So, as we celebrate our precious freedom on the 4th, let’s remind ourselves that with that freedom comes responsibility. We must be more active caretakers of this lovely piece of land we call home, and of each other, as well. As we toast our independence, let us reconsider our interdependence; we need each other.
I’ll leave you with a little something we all learned and recited as schoolkids, and I will ask you to take another look at these words, and seriously consider what they mean to you.
I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America,
And to the republic for which it stands,
One nation under God, indivisible,
With liberty and justice for all.
Happy Independence Day, everyone. If you’re anywhere near spacious skies, amber waves of grain, purple mountain majesties, fruited plains, or any other magnificent scenes, take it in and appreciate it. Leave it as you found it, so someone else can appreciate it. Treat this land with love.
And, oh yeah: careful with the fireworks.