I’d like to start out by saying, “Happy Fourth of July!” I was thinking so much about what that means. Have you? I always feel more patriotic around this time of year. Every year I feel like a hypocrite because of it. It’s not as though I am never mindful of the great appreciation I have because I live in America. It’s not that I never think about lives that are lost fighting for my freedom and comfort. I almost can’t tell you why I feel like a hypocrite. It’s some reason between I have to teach my kids about the meaning of Fourth of July instead of them just knowing due to constant talk and thankfulness for this country, and the fact that my generation– despite the real war going on– seem to have a disconnect and rebellion buried deep within. A sort of “me” focus instead of a faithfulness to country. A “you owe it to me” attitude.
As a child I was taught the history of America. It always seemed so far in the past that I could never fully relate to the emotional connection known as patriotism. I assume that to some point the reason for this is because war has changed so much. It’s smarter and voluntary. Distant. It goes on in places I’ve never seen. And I’ve always been comfortable. Never awakened by bombs and panic. Never suppressed in a way that forced my family to run or move. As an adult I understand it better now. I can imagine it because of books, news, and movies.
My point is that I am grateful for my freedoms, not happy about the ones that seem to be changing, and I understand the sacrifices made not only at the foundations of The United States of America, but now. I know people fighting for my freedoms over seas. I pray for them and their families. I understand why the forming of this country was necessary. It’s not uncommon. Religious freedom. For that I am thankful. More thankful than for any other “right” I have.
I decided to post links to the Bill of Rights and the Constitution. I haven’t even looked at them since high school. I urge you to read these words and think about what these men faced as they traveled across the sea, fleeing religious suppression and a controlling government. Maybe it was the language or hand penned words playing on my heart-strings or just imagining life at this time. I felt a connection. Patriotism. I also know it’s worth protecting what was fought for and established so long ago.