I hate shopping at Wal-Mart. I am one of those people who will actually spend a little more at the local grocery store for the convenience of not having to go to that big box chain store. Call me old-fashioned but I prefer shopping at a hometown grocery store where I know the cashiers by name and they know me.
Yet, here it is, a couple of days before the 4th of July holiday and my husband just had to buy a new pool. I, of course, advocated for an Amazon delivery but he convinced me that waiting a full 5 days for the big truck to arrive would be hazardous to my health with the 4-year-old home for the summer with nothing to do. The thoughts of watching Peppa Pig for the gazillionth time forced me to put on my flip-flops and head to Wal-Mart to pick out a shiny new pool that would be up and running within 24 hours. Clearly, Wal-Mart was the less insane option for me.
I was wrong. It was mass insanity. I should’ve chosen unlimited viewings of Paw – Patrol.
Even still, here we were standing in the aisle waiting for assistance amongst the throngs of early holiday tourists when my eyes started glazing over. To break the spell, I wandered over a couple of aisles and noticed all the Independence Day items for purchase. From red, white and blue sunglasses to t-shirts that had large pictures of our Eagle, anything you would want to show your pride in our Country was there for your shopping pleasure.
As I browsed around, it occurred to me that I should buy a few things for the 4th of July Picnic in the Park that is hosted by F.A.I.T.H. Military Support Group. The 4-year-old loves that event and of course, we are going again this year to help support a great charity.
Something was missing though. The excitement that I’ve always had for Independence Day seemed to be eluding me. Where was my American Flag? Where did I put all the flag banners and streamers? I just did not know.
On the way home with our big, huge pool box, I began to really question why I did not seem all that excited. It occurred to me that over the past year, the angry diatribe that has permeated the media and politicos had really disgusted me.
I remembered a time that 4th of July was revered by young and old. Apple pies and baking contests, parades that showcased our veterans along with lazy evenings lying under the stars watching the hometown fireworks spectacles. That was the holiday I remembered and now miss.
Maybe I am really old fashioned but today’s holiday seems to be how fast we can head to the nearest body of water with a cooler full of our favorite beverage. It’s become just another holiday that we can take some time off and play hard. Without a second thought to what it actually means.
Independence Day is not the day the Founding Fathers signed the Declaration of Independence. It is the day that 13 colonies declared independence from Britain.
One of my favorite US President’s, John Adams, declared “The Second Day of July 1776, will be the most memorable Epocha, in the History of America,” in a July 3, 1776 letter to his wife, Abigail. This came after days of hot summer debate and discussion between the 13 colonies in Philadelphia. Adams was off by two days as the initial writing had to be revised and it was completed on July 4th, 1776.
“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.“
Never before in the history of mankind had such rebellious and revolutionary words been used to describe a philosophy of a people. So rebellious against the force of a corrupt government that a bloody war was fought over those words. The right of the people won against the those who would enslave them by virtue of governing.
Today, we still see Nations across this globe whose people are enslaved by their governments. Today, the people of Iran are protesting the dictatorship that has seen them starved of basic necessities like food and water. Women are still considered second class to men in Middle East countries. Women who aren’t allowed to vote or have a say in their own bodies.
Americans are a blessed people. We are a free people. We tend to forget that as we rush to the barbecue grills and fireworks.
From the first shot of the Revolutionary War with the Battles of Lexington and Concord to the last fired shot in Kandahar, American soldiers fought and are still fighting for the very freedom that we will celebrate as the Birth of a Nation. For that, I am excited to bake that apple pie.
God bless our Country.