Sunday, July 4, 2010

Reasons for the 4th

No matter the headlines in the news or what the political analysists might say, the 4th of July is a time for us to celebrate the greatness of the United States. I love the 4th of July and I love Sunday, so it makes sense that the 4th on a Sunday is a great day. Today has reminded me of all the reasons that make this day (and our nation) so special. It all started this morning.

The drive through the Flint Hills cloaked in all its green glory, the fertile farmland and the green grassy native range. I was reminded of bountiful food supply, the freedom from hunger and solid foundation of the agriculture in the great land. I worshipped in my church, ever mindful of the freedom to worship where I want and the many blessings God has given our nation. We should never forget that this country was settled in a quest for religious freedom and founded in a belief in God.

I then settled in for a BBQ dinner, celebrating the bounty of the land. We are so lucky to live in a land of plenty, with full shelves in multiple grocery stores. The abundance gives the majority the ability to focus on something other than producing food. My 4th would not be complete without the parade and fireworks so well done by my hometown.

The flags at the beginning of the parade remind me of the sacrifices of those who helped found this nation. Many of our founding fathers lost their lives, many more lost loved ones in our fight for independence and others lost all their possessions. All to insure our freedoms in this great country. The veterans marching in the parade remind me of the sacrifices of our armed forces. From those who gave their lives to insure the freedom of all men in the Civil War, those who served in the World Wars protecting from tyranny, those who fought the horrors of Vietnam and the brave soldiers who are now fighting those who would destroy our way of life.

Every parade has horses, they remind us of our rich heritage and were the mode of transportation that settled our country. The cars in the parade remind me of the industrial power of this great nation. The rest of the world look to us for leadership in the realm of technology and business. Older citizens along the route remind us of the generations that built this land The children remind me that we have a great hope for the future. Even the politicians walking the parade route are a sign of our great democracy. In many parts of the world political discussion are not a two sided affair.

The grand finale of my hometown 4th of July celebration is the fireworks. Each year I am struck by the beauty and the colors of the display. I am also aware of the fact that we can watch the display, safe in the knowledge that it is only a display. In many parts of the world loud explosions are a thing of fear and not a sign of joy.

That is why I love the 4th of July, it is a time for celebrating where we came from and where we are going in the future. No matter our disagreements or problems we must remember why this nation has thrived. We are incredibly blessed to live in a nation where we are guaranteed our freedoms and we are free to pursue our happiness. That is why I love the 4th of July.