At 10 p.m. on The 4th of July, I watched another firework celebration begin. For a time, I flashed back to a childhood memory of family and friends. We gathered for bar-be-que hamburgers, kids played in constent anticipation of sparklers and we all sang God Bless America and other patriotic songs. Our heads were filled with the American Dream. The idea that our country is strong and the citizens stronger. As long as Uncle Sam, baseball, hotdogs and apple pie existed life would be good. We did not understand government handouts. We knew it was up to us individually to pull ourselves up by our own “boot straps” and create the life we wanted.
Life was simpler, kids could run free, trick or treating yielded record candy collections. Strangers would help. Folks took personal responsibility and lawyers were for extreme cases only. Our parents built relationships with the local bank managers, real estate agents, doctors and grocery clerks. Our people understood loyalty, they supported each other.
Today, this sounds like an old fashion fairy tale, but it really did happen in my early life. Those of us born in the sixties and earlier, remember “stay at home moms” and being expected to be kids. A fat kid was an anomaly, fast food was a “special” meal out and television had four channels. We only went to the doctor if it couldn't be cured with home remedies. We played by our parents rules. If we broke a rule, we paid the price - no discussions.
As my thoughts returned to reality and an amazing firework display, I thought about what the sky looked liked to our founding fathers and how times have changed for better and worse. The most noteworthy ... the internet has made it possible for us to communicate in ways unimaginable forty years ago and we sacrificed privacy for it. Domestic abuse can finally be discussed and sadly, kids are sexualized from the time they are born. Mental illness can be talked about, diagnosed and treated; doctors hand out pills like candy and conveniently forget the prescription for the psychotherapist. Modern medicine can cure or control almost every disease yet the majority of this country is one medical emergency away from losing everything they own. Our technology has never been greater, the earth never filthier.
Despite all these challenges, we are still blessed in this country. The United States of America still offers the American Dream, however, our boot straps are now built differently. We don’t pull them up anymore, we design their fit through a point and click system. I’m fortunate to have experienced the strong patriotism and optimism that once filled this country. The USA is changing. We The People will restore our country. In order to create a “more perfect union” its important to LEARN and KNOW your RIGHTS. This has nothing to do with political affiliation or religious beliefs.
Below please find the USA Government Archive links to OUR central documents. I have included the most well known paragraph of each document to offer a gentle reminder of what the document represents:
The Declaration of Independence:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,
We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
The Bill of Rights
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
Happy 4th of July and God Bless America!