Independence Day in the United States of America: the more it changes, the more it stays the same.
Our prosperity, armory diplomacy, generosity and faith in democracy is on display around the world as it has been for a hundred-plus years. Iraq has stabilized but Afghanistan’s kettle still boils; every week the newspaper prints the names of soldiers who have given their lives.
Sacrifice … all in the name of freedom.
The span of countries that owe the United States, in part, for the independence they enjoy today covers the globe. From the Philippines to Western Europe, to China and South Korea. History also includes the present-day citizens of Russia, Japan and Germany who were freed from oppressive regimes. Canada and Mexico live under the shade of our military might.
We as a nation seem to be stewing in discontent, recession, terrorist threats, sadistic reality shows, the unending pessimism of the news media and the gloom that emanates from Washington D.C. But underneath the oil fire that sits on top of this American sea, the majority of us — the 90 percent who didn’t lose our homes or jobs — are busy taking care of ourselves, our neighbors, our friends, and our relatives that did take a hit.
Farmers are still going into the field to ensure that nobody goes hungry. Teachers, public servant bureaucrats, mechanics, bus drivers, handymen, police officers, firefighters, hospital workers, plumbers and airline pilots show up to work every day ready to carry their share of the load … and more.
The strength of any country’s productiveness lies in the character, work ethic and compassion of each individual. In countries where individual effort is discouraged, personal responsibility is diminished, and faith in God is disregarded, the incentive to overcome adversity disappears. Countries like that offer the security of a subsistence socialism in trade for the Promise of Hope.
On July 4 we celebrate this Promise of Hope. We draw on our historic patriotic roots and our deep American values that have brought us to this day, through harsh wars and hard times, from Valley Forge to 9/11.
Life is not supposed to be easy. It is supposed to be as good as you can make it. That is the Promise of Hope. It is what makes America great. It’s why immigrants flock to our shores and why we really are different. Of the people, by the people and for the people, under God, indivisible.
Put your hand over your heart, bring on the fireworks and hang out Ol’ Glory! It’s the Fourth of July and we’re gonna act like it.
Baxter Black is a self-described cowboy poet, ex-veterinarian and sorry team roper. He can be contacted at 1-800-654-2550 or by e-mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org