One resilient nation
(Independence Day ) ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more.
-John Adams in a letter to his wife, July 3, 1776
As we prepare for our nation’s annual outburst of patriotic fervor – expressed through everything from solemn ceremony to raucous celebrations – it is a good time to take a moment to reflect.
Few doubt this is a difficult and challenging time in our country’s march through history what with recession, two wars, a government and a population still greatly divided along partisan lines. They are not the only challenges, of course, there are a myriad of others for which answers seem out of reach.
On the other hand, perspective can be a wonderful thing.
Tough times, yes, but certainly not depression-era bad in terms of the economy. The wars in Iran and Afghanistan have taken a terrible toll, as every war does, but they are not like previous wars in Vietnam, Europe and Asia or even the American Civil War, where more men fought and died than in any other conflict involving our nation. Yes, politicians are still getting caught doing stupid, naughty and even criminal acts, but that unfortunate practice is hardly unique to our times.
No matter one’s political bent, there is one thing we likely all agree upon: We share our lives in an extraordinary country, a country peopled by those who recognize we can individually and collectively always do better. The great American experiment continues to be a work in progress – never perfect, often frustrating, but also demonstrably superior to most every other systems of government in existence now or in the past.
Before his thoughts on how the great day would be celebrated in the quote above, John Adams, in a letter to his wife, Abigail, lamented the delay in the declaration, among other gripes. But even the crusty Adams recognized the perfect should not get in the way of the good, or the remembrances sure to come of the nation’s remarkable birth.
Despite our differences and all of the challenges before us, we remain countrymen, partners in both good and bad and dependent on one another for our continued existence. It’s a lesson we’re all well-advised to keep in mind as we celebrate our American independence Saturday.
-The Summit Daily Editorial Board consists of Jim Morgan, Alex Miller, Ryan Wondercheck, Matt Sandberg, Morgan Liddick and Howard Hallman.
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