Freedom

Happy Fourth of July.  By now you know this is my favorite holiday of the year, far overshadowing both Christmas and Thanksgiving.

Being a kind of amateur historian of the military, I am reminded annually on this day of the bold decision by a handful of citizens to break away from the past and forge a new future.  Every signatory to the Declaration of Independence knew, with quill in hand, that their act equated to treason, and that they might well hang for their belief.  Most future Americans had little concern with the idea, and even after the War of Independence, many new Americans held strong pro-British sentiments.

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.

It is amazing to think of everything we’ve done since then as a country.  We’ve had our regrettable systems and moments, it is true.  We still do.  But only a nation born as we were could be bold enough to knit together a country between two oceans, or decide that the price of freedom was sufficient to stop the spread of Fascism and Communism and then pay it.  It is an act we’ve committed many times, for better or worse, because we believe in being the masters of our own destiny.  Forty-four years ago, our boldness and daring put the first human being – an American – on the surface of another world, and did so in a craft with less technology in it than I have in my phone.

I have had better Independence Days than I’ll likely have today.  I’ve enjoyed the down-home parades and unashamed patriotic celebrations.  I have also stood on foriegn soil more than once on this day, and I’d tell you that being in that situation adds a certain counterpoint to what this day means.  For me, it made the entire concept that much more sacred.

For my non-American followers and readers, I hope you’ll understand I mean you no offense whatsoever.  We might be rough, ham-fisted, overworked cowboys, that could be true.

But we will not be beaten.

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62 Responses to “Freedom”

  1. Happy Independence Day, Rants!

  2. Rants,
    Well said, as always, my friend. Hope you have an excellent holiday.

  3. Well, if your celebration lives up to the eloquence of this post you will have a most splendid day. Happy Independence Day Rants.

  4. Happy Freedom Day…

  5. itsjustjaco Says:

    not from the US, but very inspiring!

  6. The Elite of Just Alright Says:

    “But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”

  7. WORD, Rants. Motherfucking word. Happy 4th to you, sir (and by now you know that by “Sir” I mean “not Madam”).

  8. I wish you the best Fourth that you can have, under the circumstances. And I’ll beg forgiveness if I’m not quite up to my usual effervescent self. Seems both of our Fourths are gonna have a major “suck” factor attached to them this year. 😉

  9. Salute and Happy 4th of July.

  10. It is to men (and women) like you to whom the United States of America owes its Freedom. Happy Independence Day, Bro.

  11. I just spent my first fourth in a foreign country. It’s also the first time since 1977 I didn’t shoot fireworks on the fourth (at six I was making and shooting my own its great to grow up a son of a science teacher). I did burn something and we grilled but all things considered I’d rather be in the USA for the day. It was take, but we celebrated. Happy 237!

  12. whiteladyinthehood Says:

    Great patriotic post! (these posts seem to carry more “weight” simply because they come from you) Thank you for all you do for our country.

  13. Great post. Patriotic, but in a good way. I love what you said about the D of I. It is a hard concept for my students to get that by signing that paper, they really were signing their death sentence. Lucky for them, the British were never able to try them. And then there was that bastard John Hancock who just had to take up all that space with this name. He wanted to make sure the British could read it.

  14. Very much behind, but happy 4th to you too Rants. Thought I should warn you – I am finally getting caught up in my reading & guess whose blog is next? Are you prepared for the onslaught of comments?

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