Friday, July 04, 2008

July 4th

The July 4th holiday is one of my favorite holiday's in the year. Today is one of the few days that everyone is willing to celebrate America's greatness. Throughout most of the rest of the year, it is somewhat "In" to criticize America. Criticism is fine, but it is a little one sided when it isn't paired with a mention of some of the great things this country has done.

America isn't perfect. No institution created and run by men will ever be perfect. However, with all of her faults, America is still a great nation, and one that many would do anything to live in. We give more aid to foreign nations than any other nation. In some cases, we give more than almost any other grouping of nations. We help our critics. Since World War II, Europe has looked to the United States to protect her. Our military accepts this burden, even while Europe insults it in public. Those who criticize our nation from within are given protection and the freedom to do so.

When delivering his Gettysburg Address, Lincoln said some very moving worlds regarding the national cemetary that was being dedicated on the Gettysburg battlefield. The Address wasn't given until November of 1863. However, the Battle of Gettysburg was on July 1-3, 1863. Given the dates of the battle, and my own literary license, I feel it is appropriate to quote Lincoln today:

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation, so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate—we can not consecrate—we can not hallow—this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

It is the people who have gone before us, and the every day American today, that make this nation great. Today, we should celebrate our nations heritage and greatness. Happy 4th of July.

1 comment:

Brandon said...

Have a safe and happy 4th Andy.