Saturday, July 03, 2010

Celebrating the 4th of July

I read this post about the meaning of the 4th (like most Americans, when I use that date, I assume that EVERYONE will know which of the 12 monthly 4ths I am referring to).  John Adams thought that this would always be a date of wild celebration of their hard-won victory:
“The Second Day of July 1776, will be the most memorable Epocha, in the History of America.  I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival.  It ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance by solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty.  It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more.  You will think me transported with Enthusiasm but I am not.  I am well aware of the Toil and Blood and Treasure that it will cost Us to maintain this Declaration and support and defend these States.  Yet through all the Gloom I can see the Rays of ravishing Light and Glory.  I can see the End is more than worth all the Means.  And that Posterity will tryump in that Days Transaction, even altho We should rue it, which I trust in God We shall not.”
 Doncha just love that flowery stuff?

I spent the morning watching the West Park parade.  My daughter's mothers group (Pre-School PTA) was marching, and handing out information about the group's activities.  There were the Cleveland policemen, with the Bagpipe group.


[I'll upload the music later]

There were former military:


There were local groups, the Boy Scouts, the Girl Scouts, local schools and such.  There were a LOT of politicians (not unappreciated - they gave out some useful stuff - emery boards, notepads, magnets, as well as a lot of candy).  Almost all of the marchers give out candy - we refer to it as Halloween in July).

Here's my daughter in the purple shirt:



Here's the grandkids (2 of them):




As far as passing along the heritage, I think it's a family and community responsibility to make sure our children and grandchildren know what is so special about our country.  So, I'm adding some links to sites you might want to check out (or have the young ones do so).

Here's a person who is not afraid to speak his mind, even when it leads to criticism.

Founding Fathers.

The original documents - they're short, all Americans should read them.

Is it time for a NEW Declaration of Independence?  This man thinks so.

What place does Islam have in the USA?  There's a site that looks at some foundations of Islam AS IT IS PRACTICED that put Islam in conflict with American core principles.

The American Principles Project might spark some discussions, whether or not you agree with them.

A different spin on American principles, as they relate to economics.

Why core principles?  Although we enjoy incorporating other cultures into our traditions,  America is fundamentally about its citizens agreeing to abide by the general framework (voting, petitioning, respecting other citizens' rights, not using the power of government to run over citizens' rights, shared governance - decided by number of votes - 1 person, 1 vote, no set-asides for any groups, freedom to manage one's own personal affairs as long as they do not conflict with laws - these are just some of the basic principles).  If you can't work within that system, don't come here.  Don't expect us to change (i.e., allowing some citizens to have multiple spouses, tolerate denial of religious freedom, limiting citizen freedom of speech, etc.).

What the anti-Tea Party crowd doesn't understand is that Americans LIKE immigrants - the ones that followed the rules, and not those that broke the law, then expected special treatment.  The overwhelming majority of us are the descendants of immigrants.

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