Thursday, July 5, 2012

Those Who Love America Best

Are not always its cheerleaders...

On the occasion of our Independence Day holiday 2012 I was reminded that the 4th of July has not always been a celebration of freedom and liberty for all Americans, and that we have not always abided by our founding principles or lived up to the promises we've made to ourselves, our nation, or the world.  Some times we are fortunate enough to be graced with prophets and gadflies, orators and poets, who remind us we are "not all that."

For this I am thankful to the Black Skeptics Independence Day post, What, to the Slave, is Your Fourth of July? which excerpts from a powerful speech made by Frederick Douglass, on July 5, 1852.

Another post at Homeland Security Watch titled, Democratic Vistas: As fuel to flame, invites us to review Walt Whitman's 1870 essay Democratic Vistas.

All our national holidays seem to have become opportunities primarily to rest from our labors, gather with family and friends, consume frivolously, eat too much, and frequently drink too much.  Perhaps we should take at least a little time each holiday to evaluate whether there is a purpose behind our observation other than self-congratulation, fireworks, and a day off.  We can treat Independence Day as a perk, a privilege, or a prize; or we can regard it as a call to introspection, a chance to refresh our commitment to the principles upon which our Republic was founded, to examine where we came up short this year, and recommit ourselves to striving toward the excellence America is meant to be in the year to come.

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