Liberty: the quality or state of being free.
Tyranny: oppressive power, typically exerted by government.
I'll have more of the former, and far less of the latter, if you don't mind.
When I think of Independence Day, I don't just think about the birth of the United States (important, to be sure), but I also think about how blessed I am to have been born on what I truly believe is the greatest country on the planet.
In our short history (234!) the United States has done so much in such a small period of time. Our armed forces have helped liberated millions, our willing generosity has enhanced the lives of millions more. Ours is still the only nation to have put footprints on the moon, brought technology down to the masses, and saved so many lives through life extending medicines and treatments.
To be sure, there are lots of haters out there who are a) jealous of our successes; b) upset by our occasional meddling on their efforts to expand their ideological empires on the unwilling; c) resentful that history unfolded the way that it did.
To such critics, I say "How sad, too bad, now how about a nice steaming cup of STFU?"
Forgive my crudeness, but I am tired of people feeling guilt for things that are beyond their control. Stop it already, and stop it right now. Sure, we're not perfect, but show me a country out there that has it better, done it better, and is, in fact far better than anything we hope to do in our life times. Do that, and I will help pack your bags so that you can catch the next flight out.
Warts and all, America is an awesome country. We're not just an experiment in mob rule with cookies. When it really, really matters, our citizenry comes together, gets it right, and puts the other countries to shame. While there is always room for improvement, at least the USA has mechanisms in place which allows for such.
The document which makes it all possible, the Constitution of the United States, should be heralded as one of the greatest writings of humanity. If we bothered to read it, understand it, and apply it on a regular basis, I suspect that we'd all be a lot better off for it.
God bless the French for backing our play all those centuries ago when it really mattered. I am sure that their ROI has been pretty good since then. And God bless mother England for getting over their mad on and becoming the closest of allies. Along with the rest of the English speaking nations, I'd say we've accomplished quite a lot together.
No apologizing for the blatant swagger in this post, especially on THIS weekend. I love my country, and I proudly wore her uniform for over 20 years of my life. This land I *will* defend, and for those forces (internal and external) that try to wrestle it away from us will find quite the spirited fight on their hands.
Feel free to enjoy the time off with family and friends, get that BBQ grill going, watch the fireworks, and salute the flag when you see the Honor Guards parade throughout the country. Just remember that over two centuries ago, 56 guys signed a piece of paper one hot muggy day that changed the world forever.
It would be nice if we remembered, if only for a moment, what the fuss was all about.