“If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.” –George Orwell
What was it like, hearing the scratching of 56 congressmen dipping their quills and signing their names? What were they thinking, what were they dreaming? Would they still stand proudly if they saw America today?
I often think of these questions when I watch the fireworks burst in the sky. I see the children clapping and spinning with their sparklers, watch as parents spread out blankets and food, ready to celebrate the holiday. Our flag colors can be seen everywhere and on everyone, even reflected in the light of firework bursts on their faces. I watch and I wonder if I’m seeing a display of true patriotism or mere celebration of “just another holiday.” If asked, could all these people here today answer correctly as to the reason behind this gathering? Could the children?
It is the children that I fear for the most, will they grow to forget our past, our history, and wish instead to rewrite it, to overlook the ugly and downplay the sacrifices that were made to secure our freedom? Will there come a time when fewer and fewer people celebrate at all? There are many people here today, but maybe, there was just a bit more the year after 9/11. Patriotism always re-awakens when a country is attacked and tried. People, if only for a moment, remember that everything we have can be taken from us, that our freedom must be maintained and protected.
Sadly though, they have forgotten that it is God who has blessed us because we followed after him, as John F. Kennedy once said, “The rights of man come not from the generosity of the state but from the hand of God.” He is supreme, and His hand of blessing can be withdrawn at any time.
Will we continue to place our trust in God? Will we teach our children the truth of salvation and freedom? Both won through great sacrifice. As I watch each firework burst and rain down red, white, and blue, I can only hope and pray, that my nation will remain under God’s grace and protection. That we would remain a people who turn their faces to heaven. That we would never become so proud that we would refuse to fall to our knees in worship.
Our country isn’t Democratic vs. Republican, White vs. Black, Straight vs. LGBT, or Men vs. Women. We are simply Americans, and we should be of one heart and mind on this day and all others. I stand for truth, I stand for our history, I stand for God, and I stand for America. Happy 4th of July to you all and God bless.
“If we ever forget that we are one nation under God, then we will be a nation gone under.”
~ Ronald Reagan