Happy Fourth of July!
Though I share Roger Simon’s gloom about the state of the nation. Skipping lightly over the heavyweight matters of the hour, on the simplest level I just didn’t have the heart today to go to a replay of the small town Independence Day Parade we went to last year — which featured firetrucks, tractors and a congressman throwing candy to the kids, but amid the thumping rock and disco music somehow neglected to include a single patriotic song. No God Bless America, no Yankee Doodle, no Star-Spangled Banner. None of those stirring words, “Stand beside her, and guide her,” no reminders to “Let Freedom Ring.” No moment when the crowd stood to attention to honor the astounding creation of this republic, Land of the Free, and the immense bounty that has flowed from its founding principles, that we are endowed not by the government, but by our Creator, with the rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Did they forget? Do they not care?
Yet, I think millions upon millions of Americans do care. My hunch is that if someone had thought to play the national anthem, that crowd would have loved it. I think if someone had stepped up to the microphone to sing “God Bless America,” the crowd would have joined in, and I even believe some would have had tears in their eyes. I would wager that among the families lining the curbs to see the parade roll by were veterans who fought for this country, and people willing to do a great many things, both mundane and heroic, to preserve America’s freedoms. This is not solely a matter of sending a message via the ballot box. It is also a matter of reviving a culture in which we produce leaders fit to meet the immense challenges, both within our borders, and beyond, to the principles of liberty and law on which this amazing country has been built.
Two video clips in that spirit follow on the next page.
A reprise of Rick Monday’s save of the American flag, 1976, in Dodger Stadium. A symbolic moment, in which a man saw the right thing to do, and did it.
And a series of World War II clips, set to the Battle Hymn of the Republic, a reminder of what it took, and what so many did, and gave — at many junctures in history — to bequeath us the America whose independence we celebrate today.