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Saturday, July 5, 2008

Happy 5th of July




(I apologize for being a little late with this post... I was not feeling well on the official holiday. But since the Declaration of Independence was not signed by all the delegates until August 2nd, 1776, I figure that I have a little bit of leeway on my Independence Day post and/or observations.)

***

I took this photo of the Stars and Stripes on California Street on a blustery day a few months ago. I love how strong and flowing and proud this flag looks.

What I want this flag to be most of all, though, is not a lapel pin. I don't want it reduced to a litmus test of media brainwashing, absurd posturing, pandering and goosestepping: of What Being Patriotic Means. I want this flag to represent the best part of our country's strengths, and that is that we are so strong as a nation that we can afford to question our leaders and hold them accountable to the great public trust they hold.

Accountable to us, the People of this great experiment of a government.

My wish for all of us is that the essence of the freedoms that the 4th of July represents remains in our consciousness in this important election year, and that we who comprise this brave experiment--this United States of America--that we will all rise to the occasion this year and educate ourselves and vote. Let us together restore our country to what it can be.

I think that the words that move me most, even though they were uttered almost 100 years after the revolution that made us a nation, are these:

"...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."

Of the people, by the people, for the people. That is what we need to return to. We cannot afford to lose our way any longer.

***

Truth can be taught in a variety of ways. I really admire Penn & Teller not as much for their brilliant
magic performances, but for their dogged insistence that we actually think about what we believe in.



And for those of you who have not yet discovered her, Paris Parfait is where I always go to first to find very well-written and informative posts about the direction of our nation's politics.

7 comments:

paris parfait July 5, 2008 at 4:41 AM  

First, my compliments for the gorgeous photos and the wise words. And second, thank you for the kudos, which - particularly coming from you - mean a lot to me. Hope you're feeling much better today. xoxox

karey m. July 5, 2008 at 5:47 AM  

this was gorgeous. and your words on the second? so true and beautiful.

i hate when that damn bubble bursts, don't you?

msHedgehog July 5, 2008 at 6:05 AM  

It's a nice flag. Graphically, it's one of the best. I also like ours, complex but unified, and South Africa's. And the Welsh one is fabulous.

Johanna July 5, 2008 at 9:23 AM  

He can't dance to save his soul, but he can sure spin a great story.

Thank you for such a touching post. And glorious pictures. That's how I see our flag, too.

tangobaby July 5, 2008 at 10:41 AM  

Hi paris parfait,

Thank you, and thank you. And you're welcome! (Always!)

I am feeling loads better today. All better!

xoxo

Hi karey m.,

Thank you, too. I know you have had some bubbles bursting in your world lately. I hope things are better for you now.

Hugs across the globe.

Hi Ms. Hedgehog,

I have to go and look up all those other flags now! I do have to say that I like the Union Jack best of all when it is emblazoned on a Mini Cooper.

;-)

Hi Johanna,

I never even considered Penn as a dancer (you must know something I don't!) but he's a great raconteur.

And a smart guy, too.

I'm glad you liked the post.

Relyn July 5, 2008 at 1:22 PM  

I agree with you that Lincoln's words are incredible, powerful, perhaps the best ever spoken about America. The thing think I appreciate most about America is our right and responsibility to vote. All of us, all backgrounds, all manner of opinions and belief systems, we all have a chance to come together on one special day and effect the future of our nation. Oh, what a privilege!

I also love your pictures of the flag. Beautiful.

tangobaby July 8, 2008 at 1:43 PM  

Hi Relyn,

Reading those words inside the Lincoln Memorial was something I will remember for a very long time.

I hope that this election is something Americans can look back and be proud of.

I'm really happy with those flag photos. Photography is so rewarding in those tiny milliseconds when something wonderful gets frozen in time.