Happy Fourth of July!
Before you drive the neighborhood dogs berserk with your annual fireworks show, it’s time to think about why we celebrate this holiday.
The Fourth of July is Independence Day, a day to celebrate our nation’s liberty from tyranny and the individual liberties we enjoy as a result.
Billions of people in the world lack the liberties we enjoy. Some countries lock people away – or worse – for their opinions.
Freedom is a priceless treasure to value and defend.
We often talk about the price of freedom in terms of human lives, and it continues to take its toll by this measure.
The combat deaths of Americans in Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, and Yemen this year represent the ultimate price to defend our freedom.
But there are other prices for our freedom in a democracy, prices we can all pay – like informed participation in government.
A wise person once said the greatest threat to democracy comes not from invading armies, but from the complacency of a nation’s people.
Attend meetings. Volunteer for a board or committee or for your fire department. Call a legislator. Join a protest if you see fit. Most importantly, pay attention to what’s happening at all levels of government.
So go ahead and fire up the grill, go to the beach, have a fireworks show, but remember independence is not a gift to passively accept. It is a hard-won right to actively defend and protect.