“No other date on the calendar more potently symbolizes all that our nation stands for than the Fourth of July.” ~ Mac Thornberry
“Because of the pandemic, the Fourth of July has been cancelled.” I have heard that said many times over the past few weeks. I have reminded the people who have said it that the Fourth of July has not been cancelled. What has been cancelled are the many trappings and festivities of the day: parades, fireworks, and other public spectacles. They cannot happen this year because towns and cities are doing their best not to provide an occasion for too many people to gather together in one space and transmit the virus to one another.
The Fourth of July is more than parades, picnics, and fireworks, though. It is about the values upon which our country was founded. Some of these values, and how we may have swayed from them, have been highlighted these past few weeks by different groups and organizations.
Our country was founded so that all people could be free to pursue life, liberty, and happiness. It was also founded so that all could worship freely. Freedom is a value that is greatly desired by all and when any person or group of people feel that their freedom is being impinged upon, they raise a hue and cry and rightfully so.
We were founded to be free and one of the hallmarks of our founding fathers was respect for the rights of others. This might be a good and appropriate day to do some soul-searching on our part and ask ourselves if we truly respect others and if we have done everything within our own power to acknowledge others and support them if they are struggling. The defining moment of any society, I believe, is when we support one another in our journeys.
FAITH ACTION: Stand up for the values upon which our country was founded and ask God to bless the United States of America on its birthday.