Like most Americans this weekend, I’ve overindulged in celebrating my country’s independence. Too many fireworks, too many burgers and beer. Like it or not, overindulging is something we Americans do better than anyone else. Unlike most cases however, Independence Day gives us a reason and purpose to partake in excess. As I take a break from the action, I reflect upon some random thoughts.
Our Forefathers were brilliant. They really were. By no means perfect, nor politically correct, the men and women (just as instrumental in this country’s independence as men, but with little to no recognition) responsible for this country’s inception were masters of interpretation. They were keenly aware of the dire straits of their current situation. Yet, through realistic interpretation of their present, and drawing from history and the past as their guide, our Forefathers secured independence from a country superior in resources and military prowess. In addition, they went on to craft one of the most forward thinking documents ever created by mortal man. That document is the U.S. Constitution. A brilliant document, created by brilliant men, that still serves as the backbone of this country even after over two hundred years.
One thing I love about the 4th of July is it’s one of the few times we Americans can celebrate our heritage without retribution. For the most part, we are taught to subdue our cultural pride. Unlike other countries, it’s not politically correct to openly exhibit our patriotism. That might offend someone, and heaven forbid we do that! When we do, we are the pompous American, the arrogant American. In essence, political correctness teaches us to be ashamed of our patriotic zeal.
That’s a shame, because the United States of America is an amazing country. We’re not perfect, no country is, but we have a lot to be proud of. Yes, we do force our will upon the world, but we do that because we genuinely believe we have the best way of doing things. While we may be pompous and arrogant at times, we are the first to send our citizens, our money, and our resources in harm’s way, when others need humanitarian or military assistance. That is damn sure something to be proud of. No other country gives so willingly, nor as well, as we can.
Finally, independence did not come cheaply. Many men and women died in the fight to secure our independence. Maintaining our independence today does not come cheaply either. The men and women that proudly serve in America’s military sacrifice much to ensure that independence. To those that serve and have served, I salute you. To those that have died ensuring I can write this today without fear of retribution by the government, I thank you with all my heart for your ultimate sacrifice.