Sunday, July 04, 2004

Happy Birthday, America

On July 4th, 1776 the Second Continental Congress unanimously adopted the Declaration of Independence.

After the War of 1812, Independence Day was observed with much more fanfare. The importance of our independence and self-determination was crystal clear to the average citizen.

Today however, the importance of Independence Day is lost among many of us - having become another secular holiday with great sales. But there are awesome examples of the importance of independence for a nation - Iraq and Afghanistan. Two nations being reborn after tyrannical rule, right before our eyes. What do we see? Are there any real differences between the birth of America and the birth of these nations?

We find today, as we saw 228 years ago, becoming a nation is painful. There are lives lost in fighting and others destroyed by circumstance. We see how some citizens don't want change at all. For us, it was the Tories and in Iraq and Afghanistan it is the Baathists and the Taliban. Internal strife is as visible today in these nations as it was in America then. However, there is one thing, which stands out like a hilltop beacon; brighter than anything else in view:

Some things are bigger than we are.

The pursuit of freedom, no matter where it happens, takes on a life of its own. It becomes something in and of itself, regardless of what we feel is possible or how we feel things should go. To some this phenomenon is pure wonderment. To me it is proof of God's grace - which is why I believe The United States of America is "one nation, under God".

Today, I have violated a Presidential order - I did not lower my flag to half mast. I think Presidents Reagan and Bush would understand - they too have expressed their belief that some things are bigger than we are.

God Bless America.


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