Independence Day, 2013: A Special Kind of Love


Looking at the forecasts for July 4, 2013, here in northern New Jersey, I initially told the band director, “Not both parades.  No way!”  I love marching and seeing the crowds but not in 90 degree heat in 90 percent humidity.

I thought of the crowds I wasn’t going to get to see, waving their flags and clapping in time to the music.  Then I read the news about the high possibility that there are Russian troops on American soil, ready to enforce Obama’s laws.  I figure whatever he has planned, it must involve seizing money and/or property.  Money is the only thing that would get enough people riled up in sufficient numbers to defy the government.

Obamacare didn’t do it, although people don’t yet realize what it’s going to mean.  My good friend has already been told that he’s over the age for cancer treatments (he doesn’t have it, so far as he knows).  Americans haven’t even blinked at the notion that soon illegal aliens will be flooding over our borders.  The Benghazi scandal didn’t light their fire.  Neither did the IRS targeting of Conservative groups.  Abortion hasn’t been a big deal in decades.  Edward Snowden has some super-secret information about the original September 11th?  Please.

No; it’s something to do with money.  Obama will seize our 401k savings.  Or maybe he’ll ban all private automobiles.  Or outlaw the sale of gasoline.  Americans are a pretty passive bunch.  But take away their savings or their cars (or both), and there will be riots.    

In the meantime, a weather miracle happened.  By the time of the morning of the parade, the heat and humidity had collided and the humidity was on its way down.  The air would be breathable and the parade would be marchable.  I quickly threw on my uniform and, after a quick breakfast, raced to catch the band bus.

Even with the heat and humidity factor removed, it was still a crazy thing to do.  I’ve been marching since I was 15.  That’s 49 years of marching, standing up through countless years of rehearsals and concerts, in addition to miles of parades.  As I looked at a flag flying over the local VFW post where the first parade would begin, I knew why I was there; it was love.

Not love of a person, or my bells (which have aged with me).  It wasn’t love of the band; it was love of the flag and the freedom for which it stands that I got my creaky knees out there for another long Independence Day march.

We’ve forgotten what a wonderful country America is.  We’ve forgotten her rich and courageous history.  We no longer know or care about the brilliant men who found our nation on the highest of principles, gathering in insufferable heat just like yesterday to hammer out both the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution, which would insure that we would always be a government of, by, and for the people and balancing powers between the federal government and the individual states.  The Federal government was to only have limited powers and from that limitation of powers, its citizens would derive their freedom.

All that is lost on today’s youngest generation, if last night’s Macy’s Fourth of July Fireworks performance was any indication.  In fact, Macy’s performance, year by year, has displayed less patriotism, offered less patriotic music, and more narcisstic, rock n’roll celebrities as the decades have passed.  Citizens who want to hear patriotic music during the fireworks have to mute the sound and turn on their own music, or go to some high point in New Jersey and watch the fireworks from afar, with an iPod or some old-fashioned boombox in tow.

John Adams wrote that “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

Among the many charges against King George III of England was this:  “For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments.”

“He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty and perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy of the Head of a civilized nation….A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.”

So dangerous a declaration of independence was this that the Declaration ends with the worlds, “And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Live, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.”

Like the cartoon character Linus from Peanuts reading from the Scripture to explain the real meaning of Christmas, we need to read to our children the Declaration of Independence to explain the real meaning of freedom, and why we love it so much.



Published in: on July 5, 2013 at 2:40 pm  Leave a Comment  

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