Here in the U.S., the 4th of July is sort of a big deal. It’s a day to remember our independence from England, the end of a war, and the birth of a nation.
What actually happens is people here cook meat on a grill, get drunk, and blow things up after nightfall.
What I think it should be about is unity. I’m not one for nationalism, but I don’t think there’s anything wrong with being proud of where your from, thankful for the sacrifices made by good people that have allowed you the freedom you’ve been enjoying, and for just one day come together as a country in peace and brotherhood.
The U.S. was built as a melting pot. People from all over the world, both voluntarily and involuntarily, came to this country. And sadly, some segment of the population was always marginalized. Blacks, Asians, Irish, Polish, Latin Americans…they’ve all spent time in the dunking booth, having balls thrown at them by the people with money. I know, a clumsy metaphor, but still appropriate.
I wish it could be otherwise. I wish that for at least one day a year we could set differences aside and just appreciate the opportunity we have living here. I know, this country has made a lot of mistakes, we have to acknowledge that, but at the same time there’s been a lot of good, too. At the moment, it seems things have fallen off the rails a bit.
I know it’s a pipe dream, but I continue to wish it. Maybe someday things will settle down, rationality will prevail, and we can get back to the business of living our lives without fear, without anger, and without worrying about the future.