THE FOURTH OF JULY: it’s time to celebrate! Go to a parade, BBQ with the neighbors, lay down on a blanket in the park and listen to the Stars and Stripes Forever as the sky is illuminated with brilliant fireworks. Let the fun begin. While observing the wide variety of festivities, picnics and BBQ, parades, and musical performances, it may seem as if the 4th of July is a splendid combination of Flag day, Constitution Day, Memorial Day, Veterans Day and Thanksgiving. What a great nation to have so much to pay honor to, be grateful for and to celebrate.
In the midst of all the activities it is important to remember what was required to make this all possible and what will be needed to ensure the legacy of the Fourth continues to thrive. Our fore-parents sacrificed greatly to provide the opportunities and freedoms we enjoy today. Our part, to continue the nation’s legacy for future generations, can seem difficult in view of current angst in our nation.
If it seems the divisiveness of today’s political atmosphere is hopeless, stop and consider the differences, and even animosity, between the factions which previous generations had to face and overcome in order to create and then lead this country.
From the beginning, even before we were a nation,there was no consensus as to what the diverse colonies should do in order to address the problems of a monarch issuing edicts from the other side of the ocean, dictating life and collecting taxes from a land he had never seen. It was a tumultuous time. Today, rancor and bitterness between opposing political parties can seem insurmountable. If it wasn’t so pathetic it would be comical. Like a gaggle of 6th graders in the mix of a sandlot game, hurling insults at each other from their respective dugouts thus precluding them from getting on with the game.
Negative and demeaning rhetoric does not launch ships, build highways and cities, design inventions,and certainly never created a nation of any worth. All it does is destroy.
In the midst of their differences, and they were significant, the founders of this nation were able to identify the common ground which became the lifeblood of this new nation. It is important to understand no one got 100% of what they wanted. Everyone had to compromise to some extent and even make personal sacrifices. The founders had the wisdom and emotional maturity to come together, create a nation and then forge a Constitution in spite of the dissensions among themselves. Now, we live today presented with the opportunity to celebrate what they crafted and gave to us. The question is: do we have the integrity and wisdom to follow their example?