July 04, 2010
The Fourth of July Essays
I'd like to thank David Foster for reminding me to take a look through the archives. These are essays I've written in previous years - some I'd completely forgotten!
I'll be writing a bit later but in the meantime, enjoy.
2007: Brave New World:
Those who "don't believe in war" might take a moment on July 4th to consider that it was war that made America possible. Without men willing to defend those hallowed sentiments in the Declaration of Independence, they would not be worth the paper they are written on. Our rights are not simply given to us - either by a loving God or a benevolent and all knowing government. They are created and defined each time we stand up for them.
Even at the risk of our lives.
The Fourth of July allows us to remember that words alone cannot make men free - they must be backed by the will to defend those freedoms. And it is a reminder of something else - that though all men may be created equal in the eyes of justice, all forms of government are most decidedly not equal when it comes to protecting individual liberty. Our task as Americans is to take those two ideas to heart.
2008: A Love Letter to America:
America is not a destination but a journey and in loving her, we must not become so firmly fixed upon the goal that we lose heart when we stumble a time or two upon the road. For stumble we will. After all, we are but human; all too imperfect clay with which to form the more perfect union our founding fathers envisioned.
I love this country because she was born in turmoil; baptized by fire and lighting; conceived from the highest aspirations of Enlightenment thinkers: from words that ring as true today as they did over two hundred years ago...
This essay, written back in 2005, is unquestionably my favorite. It was written during a very dark time in the war. We were losing a lot of good men and women and the notion that we might eventually prevail in Iraq seemed almost delusional. And yet we persevered.
We would like certainty. We would like painless progress. We would like closure. We will not get any of those things.
On July 4th we must ask ourselves, what do we believe? Our military - brand new immigrants who enlist before the ink is dry on their visas - believe in those words so strongly that they will lay down their lives to spread the fire of democracy. They also believe (as I do) that their purpose is to serve American foreign policy aims, no matter how abstract and long-term they may seem. No matter how difficult to explain to the American people. No matter how frustrating in the short term.
What kind of world will we bequeath to our grandchildren? It may be that long before we know. But our actions today will have an incalculable effect on that far-off tomorrow. And if our policy is not firmly grounded in the spread of those long-ago words:
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...
...then I wonder if we shall not be the first Americans who fail to pass the blessings of liberty on to the next generation?
Posted by Cassandra at July 4, 2010 08:13 AM
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Why in the ever-lovin', blue-eyed hail are you *posting* today instead of mixing the savory sauce for the barbecue?
Happy Fourth, all.
Posted by: BillT at July 4, 2010 10:13 AM
Happy Fourth, Bill :)
But more than that, thanks for all you do to keep us free.
Posted by: Cassandra at July 4, 2010 10:47 AM
I was hoping you'd put up the love letter to America essay.
Thank you, Missy Cass, for blogging.
BillT, thank you again. You're the bestest.
Posted by: Cricket at July 4, 2010 10:58 AM
Happy Fourth to you and your unit M'lady!
You too Bill.
Same to all you fine Villains who frequent these intertubes.
And to all our incredible folk at the tip of the United States spear, and those who support them.
Kbob, you too bud!
Posted by: bthun at July 4, 2010 12:06 PM
Posted by: Cricket at July 4, 2010 01:29 PM
I sent the link to the love letter to America to some of my friends. At least one was shocked to read that someone else loves America as much as they do.
I think part of the problem is that there are too many "closet patriots", while the parasites who live under the freedoms we defend think it's kewl to denigrate all things American with no fear of reprocussions. We need to make it hurt to not love America if you live here.
Posted by: Kbob in Katy at July 4, 2010 03:21 PM
PS - it's my 35th wedding anniversary
Posted by: Kbob in Katy at July 4, 2010 03:29 PM
Happy 4th everybody!
Posted by: Cassandra at July 4, 2010 03:43 PM
PS - it's my 35th wedding anniversary
Happy anniversary, Kbob :) Here's wishing you and the Mrs. many happy years together.
Posted by: Cassandra at July 4, 2010 03:44 PM
I was up before first light thinking about the day ahead of me. I took a cup of coffee out and moved among my horses, re-establishing that eternal bond, my wolf hybrid followed me with his usual silly grin on his face. What a blessed life I have. My family is safe and sleeping, and the place I call home is secure and peaceful.
That security comes at a cost that other people pay for me, so may God bless you and keep you in his arms.
Thank you, and I raise my glass to you.
Posted by: Allen at July 4, 2010 09:49 PM
O beautiful for patriot dream
That sees beyond the years
Thine alabaster cities gleam
Undimmed by human tears!
God shed his grace on thee
Till nobler men keep once again
Thy whiter jubilee!
Posted by: bthun at July 4, 2010 10:05 PM
Old friend, my best to you and your family as well. Thanks for the kind thoughts.
Didja see that there is to be a new USS America?
It is only going to be a gator freighter fling wing carrier, but with the way ship naming goes these days, I guess we should be grateful it's not a Clinton Class Aircraft Carrier....
US Navy welcomes the USS Bill Clinton:
Sunday July 2nd, 2006 Vancouver, BC, Headed for Seattle, WA., the US Navy welcomed the latest member of its fleet today.
The USS William Jefferson Clinton (CVS1) set sail today from its home port of Vancouver, BC.
The ship is the first of its kind in the Navy and is a standing legacy to President Bill Clinton "for his foresight in military budget cuts" and his conduct while president.
The ship is constructed nearly entirely from recycled aluminum and is completely solar powered with a top speed of 5 knots.
It boasts an arsenal comprised of one (unarmed) F14 Tomcat or one (unarmed) F18 Hornet aircraft which although they cannot be launched or captured on the 100 foot flight deck form a very menacing presence.
As a standing order there are no firearms allowed on board.
The 20 person crew is completely diversified, including members of all races, creeds, sex, and sexual orientation.
This crew, like the crew aboard the USS Jimmy Carter, is specially trained to avoid conflicts and appease any and all enemies of the United States at all costs!
An onboard Type One DNC Universal Translator can send out messages of apology in any language to anyone who may find America offensive. The number of apologies are limitless and though some may sound hollow and disingenuous, the Navy advises all apologies will sound very sincere.
The ship's purpose is not defined so much as a unit of national defense, but instead in times of conflict, the USS Clinton has orders to seek refuge in Canada.
Posted by: kbob in Katy at July 5, 2010 11:28 AM
I was away from my computer for most of the weekend and am only now catching up. A belated Happy Independence Day to all!
Posted by: Miss Ladybug at July 6, 2010 10:53 PM
Thanks for that link, Cricket!
Posted by: Miss Ladybug at July 6, 2010 10:59 PM