7/04/2013

Personal Reflections on Independence Day 2013

Today was a beautiful day.   For me it was special because I had a chance to once again join the City of Laguna Niguel's 24th Annual Run in the Park.  I was there with a contingent of Scouts and Scouters who helped to staff the event by serving breakfast, by collecting trash and simply there to make a difference.  It was just a beautiful day.

I also had a chance to spend time with family as it was my Father's Birthday.   I hosted my immediate family as my Son and his beautiful Mother were away on vacation in Hawaii.     As America celebrated its' day on July 4, our Scoutmaster sent out this beautiful admonition on what's important that all Scouts and Citizens must always remember...an very crucial remembrance of all that is important and is the essence of America:



On Independence Day we celebrate;

We celebrate the trust our nation’s first leaders invested in one another.
We celebrate loyalty they mutually pledged: their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor.
We celebrate the helpfulness of those who aided our fledgling country.
We celebrate friendship born in service and devotion to the aims of liberty.
We celebrate courtesy, the civility that both values our own ideals and treats those of others with respect.
We celebrate kindness our nation extends to welcome those seeking refuge and hope.
We celebrate our obedience to the laws of our nation, among which are those laws that allow us to challenge the law itself an orderly manner.
We celebrate cheerfully knowing that a nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal has long endured.
We celebrate the thrift, prudence and providence that have carried us forward.
We celebrate the bravery of millions who have defended our independence in word and deed.
We celebrate the clean, clear potential inherent in every citizen.
We celebrate reverently, honoring the many traditions of faith that live peacefully together.
We reaffirm our duty to country, to engender cooperation in seeking the common good and to uphold the dignity of individual independence.
We don’t ignore our differences but recognize the strength diversity brings to the foundation of our nation.

The sense of mutual respect and admiration for all is the essence of scouting and its' character building legacy that is part and parcel of what America's ideals represent.    It seems as if, at times, in the political discourse at the time it is forgotten.

Americans must also continue to remember the ugly legacy of slavery and how it continues to play a profound part as America changes and its' demographics are changing in ways that is yet to be realized.    I was thinking about this as I made the rounds in Facebook and saw this from the Zinn Education Project about the speech by the great Frederick Douglas


What, to the American slave, is your 4th of July? I answer; a day that reveals to him, more than all other days in the year, the gross injustice and cruelty to which he is the constant victim. To him, your celebration is a sham; your boasted liberty, an unholy license; your national greatness, swelling vanity; your sound of rejoicing are empty and heartless; your denunciation of tyrants brass fronted impudence; your shout of liberty and equality, hollow mockery; your prayers and hymns, your sermons and thanks-givings, with all your religious parade and solemnity, are to him, mere bombast, fraud, deception, impiety, and hypocrisy—a thin veil to cover up crimes which would disgrace a nation of savages. There is not a nation on the earth guilty of practices more shocking and bloody than are the people of the United States, at this very hour.” Listen to Danny Glover read a portion of Frederick Douglass's speech as part of Howard Zinn's The People Speak series here:http://bit.ly/14Vv2d5 and find link to full speech.

The question is whether America has changed--as the Supreme Court has told us it has or not.   I wonder.   There is also this article that appeared in the July 3rd edition of the Washington Post that has some hard truths that all should take account: The American Revolution...A Lot of Questions Still.....   As I read through this article, the one comment from Jefferson struck me especially that some in the Conservative Movement especially seem to have forgotten today.

The quest for a more Perfect Union Continues ever more--as America begins its' 238th Year as an Independent Nation.





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