Sunday, July 03, 2011

What's the 4th for?

We're seeing lots of patriotic and political messages this weekend on twitter and Facebook, but it's important to consider what our independence really meant and who/what we are and want to be as a nation.

God bless our troops & their families- but the have Memorial Day, Veterans Day and Armed Forces Day.

I love our flag but it already has Flag Day. I've pled allegiance to it, but after all, it's just fabric, a symbol for what were really about. And don't get me wrong, I don't oppose the pledge, but it was really kind of a political tool back in the "red scare" 50's.

What is the Fourth really about? What is America supposed to be about?

How about our motto? E Pluribus Unum- "from many, one."

How about our Declaration? Voted on July 4, 1776. "ALL men are created EQUAL and endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, that AMONG these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."

How about our Constitution, written 10 years later? "in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice and ensure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessing of liberty for ourselves and our posterity."

Families and fun are fine, so are parades and fireworks. I love picnics and baseball and apple pie as much as the next guy. But I think that it's not just important to think about the red white and blue, but also for the republic for which it stands, one nation, under God, with liberty & justice for ALL.

How much time do we spend considering what things like justice, domestic tranquility and the general welfare really are?

We owe it to ourselves, each other, our founders, and all those citizen soldiers who've fought for us over the last 235 years to think about our principles once in a while. And we owe it to our "posterity" to talk about our principles once in a while- to share them, discuss and debate, even argue about them, to teach them to our children and pass them on.

This 4th of July, make Iowa's state motto your own: "our liberties we prize, our rights we will maintain."

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