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|Happy Independence America!|
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|Posted by:||Jul 3rd 2007, 11:31:07 pm|
A buddy of mine wrote this article, which really touched a nerve:
Marc Danziger: Independence Day is the holiday for all Americans
Marc Danziger, The Examiner
Current rank: # 123 of 5,798
Tomorrow is the Fourth of July, the birthday of the country I live in and love.
The best expression I’ve seen of the Fourth of July isn’t the huge and expensive fireworks show my wife and I will see over the East River tomorrow, or any of the huge, impersonal celebrations that most of us will see tomorrow night.
Years ago, I was out riding my motorcycle on the Fourth with a friend — my late friend Tony, a gruff, profane, lovable retired worker who rode every day over the mountain roads of Southern and central California. We were coming back from Lake Hughes headed down San Francisquito Road to Spunky Canyon, through a little settlement of houses called Green Valley.
A sheriff stopped us and said we’d have to wait a few minutes for the parade to pass. Tony and I looked at each other and shrugged. There was a general store up the road and the sheriff let us ride up there where we dropped our gear, bought some lemonade and sat to watch the parade.
Soon, the fire truck went by, siren wailing and lights flashing, followed by a tiny high school band, four or five uniformed veterans, and a bunch of kids on bicycles and some people on horses. There may have been more, but I don’t remember it. The sheriff’s car brought up the rear, and we got on our bikes and followed it out of town.
And on every driveway people sat on lawn chairs, drinking lemonade or beer, waving a small flag or sparkler and waving at us like we were part of the parade. Which, in a way, we were. And all of us are.
Because unlike the celebrations I’ve been to in the United Kingdom or Europe, which celebrate the achievements of historic nobility, saints or the feats of mighty ancestors, the Fourth of July is really about the local high school band, the VFW hall down the street, kids on bicycles, moms on horses, and finally, two guys on motorcycles who happened to stumble into the parade.
It’s about including everyone who waves a flag or sets off a sparkler — because all you have to do to be an American, on a basic level, is appreciate America.
Here’s John Schaar, my old professor of American political theory: “Abraham Lincoln, the supreme authority on this subject, thought there was a patriotism unique to America. Americans, a motley gathering of various races and cultures, were bonded together not by blood or religion, not by tradition or territory, not by the calls and traditions of a city, but by a political idea.
“We are a nation formed by a covenant, by dedication to a set of principles, and by an exchange of promises to uphold and advance certain commitments among ourselves and throughout the world. Those principles and commitments are the core of American identity, the soul of the body politic.
“They make the American nation unique, and uniquely valuable among and to the other nations. But the other side of this conception contains a warning very like the warnings spoken by the prophets to Israel: if we fail in our promises to each other, and lose the principles of the covenant, then we lose everything, for they are we.”
I’ve written before about Election Day, and how it is — to me — the highest holiday we share in this country. But it’s a working holiday.
Tomorrow’s holiday is pure celebration, and one that we can all join in — regardless of our politics, regardless of the church we worship in (or not), regardless of the place of our ancestral birth or color of our skin. And where the act of joining in is one of the key things that ties us as Americans.
I talked a bit to the folks in Green Valley and they told me events like that remind them that they all live as neighbors. I would hope that the fireworks tomorrow will serve as a reminder that in our own way, we’re all living as neighbors as well.
There may be deep disagreements about the shape of our community, and deep disagreements about what to do with the power of the community. But we can’t and won’t succeed as a community unless we recognize that regardless of our differences we are in the same parade — bound by the same political idea. And that when we lose sight of that — and of our promises to each other — we risk losing the republic we have inherited.
Marc Danziger is a member of The Examiner’s Blog Board of Contributors and blogs at windsofchange.net.
|Posted by:||Jul 3rd 2007, 08:15:08 pm|
|briland's best||Freedom is worth living for daily! Doing what matters and doing what works keeps any country moving forward as a people. So let us respect each other and each other's country along the way. As we enjoy visiting each other's homeland, let us always remember that we are guests and always respect that fact! Keep humanity alive! Happy Independence!|
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