Have you noticed that “Independence Day” has devolved into displays of shiny red, white, and blue Mylar decorations across much of our suburban landscape?
It is a time for car sales, summer vacations, huge picnics, and fireworks.
Please don’t misunderstand- it is a great holiday! I especially love watching fireworks on a summer sultry summer evening.
I’m just suggesting that it would be wise for us to contemplate the deeper meaning of “independence,” and what it means for us in 2014.
What does “Independence” mean to us today?
Just something to think about, this weekend, as we put up our red, white, and blue bunting, hang our flags, and prepare our picnic dinners.
Here are a few thoughts from Americans who devoted their lives to building our nation.
They are words worth remembering, and perhaps offer an insight into where we go from here in our national journey towards our destiny as a free people.
“Freedom makes a huge requirement of every human being. With freedom comes responsibility.
For the person who is unwilling to grow up, the person who does not want to carry is own weight, this is a frightening prospect.”
“Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer.
Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.”
John F. Kennedy
“America was established not to create wealth but to realize a vision,
to realize an ideal – to discover and maintain liberty among men.”
“The U. S. Constitution doesn’t guarantee happiness, only the pursuit of it.
You have to catch up with it yourself.”
“Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired,
signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed,
those who are cold and are not clothed.”
Dwight D. Eisenhower
“I am more and more convinced that man is a dangerous creature
and that power, whether vested in many or a few, is ever grasping,
and like the grave, cries, ‘Give, give.’ ”
“You are not here merely to make a living.
You are here in order to enable the world to live more amply,
with greater vision, with a finer spirit of hope and achievement.
You are here to enrich the world, and you impoverish yourself if you forget the errand.”
“I hope we shall crush in its birth
the aristocracy of our monied corporations
which dare already to challenge our government to a trial by strength,
and bid defiance to the laws of our country.”