Summit Daily letters: Reflection on Independence Day
June 29, 2016
Reflection on Independence Day
Most people will agree that 2016 must be one of the most unique as well as troubling years in our recent history. It certainly is for me in my eight decades on Earth. Each day brings another undesirable event on some level be it tragedy, political, economic and in some regions, the weather.
This is a good time to reflect on our status as a nation and our lives as individuals. July 4th is a time to celebrate as a national holiday. There will be parades, fireworks, picnics, sporting events, rodeos and various other activities.
How many Americans recognize the significance of July 4th? Rarely does anyone mention Independence Day. This year is the 240th year of the Declaration of Independence from the British Empire. No more being governed by a Monarch. No more taxation without representation. We have represented our nation as a democratic republic. But is that true today?
Have we maintained our independence as citizens of this grand nation? We are being governed by a President, whom, approximately 50 percent of the citizens do not have confidence. The U.S. Congress has an approval rating of about 11 percent of the population and a Supreme Court approval rating is less than 50 percent. As such, this is not a vote of confidence of those governing us by our fellow citizens. Seemingly, there isn't one branch of government that we citizens unequivocally trust.
Our founding fathers who declared our independence and were signers of the U.S. Constitution surely would cringe at today's manhandling of the freedoms offered under this grand document. In response to an inquiry as to whether we had a republic or monarchy, Benjamin Franklin replied "A republic if you can keep it." Further he stated "Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become more corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters."
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In fact, several of the early leaders of our grand republic warned against subordinating the Constitution implicitly reducing the freedoms granted therein. Thomas Jefferson, one of the more sage founders, warned against removal of the first ten amendments to the Constitution. Once removed, they will never be reinstated.
So, have we as a nation reached the point where we need masters to lead us, or are we already in that position, but don't realize it being blinded by divisiveness and corrupt leadership?
How many Americans celebrate our national holidays being thankful for what these momentous occasions represent? How many took time to honor our military veterans on Memorial Day for their sacrifices to keep our nation safe and free? How many will pay tribute to the founding fathers of our nation, who declared the U.S.A. independent and free with certain rights under the The Constitution?
Though gatherings with family and friends; picnics; parades and awesome fireworks are fun, it seems that Independence Day 2016 calls for much more. Following the election, in November, of the President for the next four years our nations direction may be more clearly defined.
Will we remain independent and free as a nation? Or will we subrogate our Constitutional freedoms to the likes of nations of the European Union? Will the U.S. remain a highly respected world power and a life style that many people in the world continue to admire…as that shining beacon on the hill? Are we proud to be Americans as the lyrics of Lee Greenwood's patriotic song "God Bless the USA" pronounces?