The United States of America is looking good at 241 years of age.
Still youthful and vibrant, yet equally wise and challenged, the American experiment continues to work and thrive in a world of great uncertainty and overwhelming odds against it. There are moments of tremendous divisions that give the impression of weakness and disorder. Although, those that proclaim this notion are ignoring history and basic reality.
As the past 241 years have demonstrated, its the similarities and differences (small and large) between Americans have actually contributed to the strength and durability of the United States of America as the greatest country in the history of the world. We are free to debate, free to express our speech and free to change the course of an issue or, yes, even a nation or the world, through individual expression. Whether in the form of dissent or a rallying call, the opportunity for a better tomorrow is always present for the taking, if we so choose. Fierce debate and strong willed disagreements at the individual, local, state and national level don’t broadcast weakness or reason to sulk and panic, but instead presents the chance for someone (or a group) to see something differently and take action to bridge the seemingly unbridgable gap for a positive vision of unity.
The harder the task, the more impactful the reward.
On the 4th of July, we celebrate all the amazing characteristics that define the United States of America. These celebrations, universal and deeply personal, are special and warrant grand spectacles in the form of spectacular fireworks, wonderful parades, delicious bbq’s and entertaining movies with friends and family.
Above all, we remember that some of this nation’s most critically important historical moments have occurred in the face of intense adversity and daunting uncertainty that, once the smoke clears, continues to reveal a country that will sustain and thrive in ways we couldn’t have ever imagined.
This was one of those moments.
“…and the home of the brave?”
The concluding charge in “The Star-Spangled Banner” by Francis Scott Key (there’s a family connection to Mr. Key) that, when answered, refreshes the promise of the American experiment for generations to come. And today is a perfect occasion for us to answer that call, in our own unique fashion, for the country we love.
Happy Independence Day.