Thursday, July 4, 2013

Independence Day

I hope everyone has a safe and happy Independence Day.

We should all take a moment to reflect on the tremendous courage and sacrifice that has gone into making us the free society we are today.

Detractors often highlight the flaws of our Founders in an effort to convince us they were not great men, and thereby the fruits of their labors (USA) can't possibly be great. All that tells me is that we should not let our flaws keep us from doing what we feel is right. We all have flaws. Anyone who tells you they have no flaws has just exhibited the greatest flaw at all.

Did you know George Washington had only 7 - 8 years of formal education? He educated himself by reading. Being a country gentleman was very important to him, and he is said to have been self-conscious of his lack of formal education even after becoming one of the wealthiest men in America (though the majority of his wealth derived from his marriage to Martha Custis). The lesson I take away from this is that even the greatest of men can feel themselves lacking. Perhaps what makes them so great is their refusal to let self-doubt stop them from reaching higher.

Women are often overlooked in the recounting of the founding of this great nation. This is simply a flaw in the retelling of events, not in the lack of great women to look to.

Our United States of America seems to be a favorite target for detractors these days. Perhaps Taylor Swift said it best: "People throw rocks at things that shine."

America has always stood as the beacon of freedom. It is our duty to make sure it continues to shine.

Today is a day of celebration. Hotdogs and hamburgers and fireworks galore! Have fun. Be safe. Take a moment to tell your children and grandchildren what the festivities are all about. Children love a good story, and our history is chock full of great ones.

Between bites and sips, remember to say a word of thanks to all the men and women who have sacrificed so that we my have the freedoms we so often take for granted. Protecting our freedom is an ongoing task, so remember to thank those who continue to stand between us and those who wish to do us harm. But most of all, remember to thank God.

American flag images courtesy of Patriot Icon.

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