Thursday, July 4, 2013

Independence Day

Today my family will eat hot dogs and hamburgers, maybe attend the annual parade. We might spend a little time at the beach, and when my wife comes home from work, for she is not one of those fortunate enough to have the day off, we will have dinner and then go watch fireworks, weather permitting.

Between these leisure activities, there is work to be done—cleaning, house construction, work on my wife's camping trailer, and summer lessons for the boys (they don't get the day off, either). In other words, I think our Fourth of July will be pretty typical.

But I hope that we all will also take a moment to think about why we celebrate this day. Two hundred and thirty-seven years ago, a group of men signed their names to a piece of paper, and thus committed an act of rebellion. It was a dangerous act, and the hazards came not only from across the Atlantic, but on home soil as well, as not all in the colonies supported separation from the Crown.

I wonder what they would think of us now. Benjamin Franklin wrote: "Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety."

On the other hand, after more than two centuries, we do still live in a republic. If we can keep it.