Reflections on the Fourth

July 7, 2008 | NeW Staff

    In keeping with Karin’s July Fourth theme, I thought I would share a little bit of my experience spending this year’s Independence Day in DC. The city makes a huge production out of the day, between a parade, concerts, flags lined everywhere, and the biggest fireworks display you’ve ever seen, it is hard not to be proud to be an American. It really is an amazing celebration they have here, and it really prompted me to remember the significance of this holiday.

    In a time, where Americans are often claiming they are “ashamed of their country,” it seems to me by the hundreds of thousands of Americans and even foreigners, I might add, that people really do recognize there is something different about this great nation. We celebrate the day when our founding fathers declared their independence from Great Britain. And today, over two hundred years later, we still enjoy that independence. The American Revolution is really unlike other world revolutions in what it accomplished. The freedom that Americans experience daily is something at which we should marvel.

    We are blessed to live in free country. We should not forget this truth. Yes, the nation is going through difficult times right now, and it seems as though everyone is blaming someone for the root of those problems. As of late, we have become contentious and dissatisfied with our But what is of vital importance right now is not forgetting that being American is a distinct privilege, and when we lose sight of the freedom that we truly possess, we allow present circumstances to muddy reality. It’s also imperative not to allow what we think the world’s view of us right now is to discourage us. After seeing hundreds of thousands of tourists crowd around the National Mall on Friday, all vying for a spot to see the patriotic display, it would seem to me that Americans have not completely forgotten the significance of this holiday.

    So this week after the Fourth, I would encourage you to think about what independence really means. What was the price that our forefathers paid for us to live in a nation like we live today? How can we protect, defend, and promote the rights that we have today? Do we live truly aware of just how great this country really is?

    If you’ve never been to DC for the Fourth, I would recommend if you have the opportunity, do it at least once in your lifetime. You will be humbled by seeing just how much we daily undervalue our independence and reinvigorated by the greatness of this nation.

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