Do you ever find yourself getting militant about silly stuff? That is what has happened to me with these three holidays. Veterans’ Day, 11/11, is a day to celebrate everybody who served in the armed forces. Me, my dad, his dad, my great grandfather, etc. and so on. Memorial Day is in May. (I remember that now because they both start with ‘M’.) Memorial Day is for people who died in combat. None of the people mentioned in the previous list are honored on Memorial Day or else I couldn’t be writing this post. And finally, Independence Day is to celebrate our casting off the tyrannical rule of King George. It is not about soldiers. Soldiers eventually had to back it up, but frankly they were just citizens. Citizens who in the face of very real, very serious danger of force being used against them, not by a group of international criminals, but by the world superpower, had the courage to make this declaration:
When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
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, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. . . . The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.
He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
[And several other grievances listed here]. . .
(I left the first grievance in as a little snarkiness to note what is not even an impeachable offense now used to be grounds for revolution.)
Anyway, I’d like to take this Independence Day to reflect on this idea that the Creator made people equal.