Thursday, July 05, 2007

Our Nation At Risk

Two Hundred and Thirty-One Years

Our nation's birthday, our 231st, July 4, 2007, is past. Our citizens have celebrated this year, each in our own way, across this country. Many small communities from coast to coast sponsor patriotic parades, generally composed of local residents. This has been true wherever I've lived, in the east and now here in the west. In addition to the parade of the military representatives from all branches of the service, and those still living from the various wars fought for our freedoms, we generally see city officials riding by, the local high school bands marching proudly, antique autos being driven by their owners accompanied by festively dressed family and friends.

Often there are red, white and blue streamers colorfully decorating bicycles ridden by young people of the community wheeling down the parade route. Some older bikers may be pulling equally colorful wagons filled with smaller children. Special novelty groups often band together and march, such as the precision team brief case brigade, business and professional men and women with their brief cases in hand engaging in various maneuvers. Residents of all ages line the streets, conversing and laughing with loved ones, often waving miniature American flags, applauding or calling to those recognized marchers. Each community probably creates and gives some unique quality to their parade.

Some 4th of July celebrations this year may even be postponed by a few citizens until this coming weekend, since this day fell on a Wednesday, exactly in the middle of the week. Actually, I'm having such a delayed celebration myself, with dear friends whose family will be coming from far and wide as is their annual tradition. I have considered our family, and now that there's just myself, quite fortunate over these years to have been so generously included in some of their annual celebration of various holidays.

For most in our country our Independence Day celebration occurs on the fourth, however. Often when the parade has passed, some watchers adjourn to nearby parks or recreation areas for picnics featuring the special fare each individual group prefers. Others may return home for outdoor barbecues with invited groups of friends and family. Those with access to a swimming pool will cool themselves in those waters. The children and young adults will engage in seemingly exhausting pool play consisting of games, diving, just generally splashing around in the water. Some adults may soon tire of water game participation, retiring to sun themselves or recline in available shade. Young lovers may separate from the group seeking privacy.

Later in the afternoon certain groups may travel to nearby designated stadium areas where special entertainment has been planned. Musical groups may appear, then as the skies darken, the entertainers show concludes, the real show that everyone came to see begins. Fireworks slowly explode into grander and more spectacular displays in that golden moon and star sprinkled sky that mesmerizes those watching.

The times have changed from the days of my childhood, even from those of my children when we often had some small select firecrackers we could light ourselves. I recall especially the sparklers, and snakes. Fireworks can no longer be purchased or set off for private individual use in our community, or that of surrounding cities. This is especially critical this year due to the dryness so early in the season that has our area a high fire risk. I can't help thinking that fire is not the only risk, that not just our community faces, but our whole country.

As our nation begins another year, the very foundation of our belief system, that was the basis for the founding of this country, is under duress. The strong values and moral beliefs the founders of our country endorsed, wrote into our Constitution and described in our Declaration of Independence have been under assault from within. We have seen this in many ways during the governance of our current administration including, but not limited to, their stating deliberate blatant falsehoods, disregarding human rights, engaging in practices above the law.

If you were busy celebrating our nation's Independence Day, as many were, maybe you missed at least two special blog posts, there are others. I would highly recommend you read these July 4th posts now. They pertain to our Declaration of Independence, why our founders sought independence in the first place, and the significance of those issues for each of us today.

You may click on these links to access these July 4th posts at:

"Time Goes By" - "The Fourth of July 2007" by Ronni Bennett

"Nobody Asked" - "Whither Liberty" by Winston Rand


  1. I read Ronni's and I will read the other one tonight. Your post is very well written, as always, Joared. I was worried about fireworks here, especially those by non-professionals. We are in a drought situtation, and I have never seen it more dry. We were lucky, as far as I know. There were no reports of fires due to fireworks. So we are lucky this year.

  2. You advanced a thought that many of us had not had before -- that aside from the celebrations and barbeques and fireworks and parades, this really marks a time of renewal -- the first day of our next year as a country. This is a time for us to take stock, to measure how far we have deviated from the path our Founders tried so hard to layout for us, and to make the corrections needed to assure that their efforts were not in vain.

    Thank you for the link. I promise to treat your readers with respect.

  3. Yes indeed our nation is at risk. You touched on just a few of what this current administration has done. But to add to the ills is the issue of torture. In my life time I can't believe that I would hear our president say we don't torture when we did and then our vice president condones 'water boarding'.

    But then we have voter turnout to be barely 50% at presidential election and well below that in the off year election. France should be our election model. Two major elections within a few weeks with 85% turnout the first one and over 84% the second.

    I'm going to read the two sites you suggested but first I'll cool down. I can handle only so much of what puts us at risk. Thanks for another post well worth my time to read.

  4. Joared,

    Well crafted, level headed and intelligent post. If only there were more people like you. sigh..

  5. Joared,

    I just went to "Mostly Anecdotal", Norm's site, and realized that that's how you found your way to my place. I think the world of Norm and we see eye to eye, except when it comes to music! LOL

    I like the techno/rap stuff that I don't think he's too fond of. LOL

  6. I read both Winston and Ronni's posts...and they did just what their authors hopefully intended....made me think...just as yours did.

    The Fourth of July has always been one of my all-time favorite holidays...for so many reasons. The patriotic flair of the day, the family gatherings, the fireworks displays and family fireworks that you mentioned with some nostalgia. I loved those 4th's the most with my kids.

    This year was a quiet one for me, which gave me all the more reason and opportunity to think about the demeanor of our country and the state of sadness and despair our present government has brought us to. Sadly, all the celebrations and fireworks in the world can't heal what hurts in our beloved country.

  7. Winston's post was very good... thanks for the link.

    I, too, remember snakes and sparklers as being the way to celebrate with just a small gathering of friends and family.

    I love fourth parades...

  8. As usual, a thought-provoking intelligent post! Thank you!

  9. Hi joared,

    Thanks for taking time to leave a comment in my post Incorporate AdSense ads into Blogger posts and wrap text around ads and for expressing your appreciation.

    Peter (Blog*Star 2006 and 2007)
    Earning Online

  10. I agree with you about what is happening here in our beloved country. I read both those Blogs and thank you for bringing them to my attention.
    I was very sad this July 4th because of all this is happening here....and the last straw for me was the commutation of Libby. The arrogence of the Cheney-Bush Monarchy---THEY are above the law because they say so....HELP...
    is just more than I can bear. The erosion of our freedoms as outlined in The Declaration Of Independence is so disheartening as to leave one in a deeply depressed state....I signed a petition a few days ago to Impeach Cheney. That made me feel a little better...Both of these men have to go. They are worse than Nixon and to my way of thinking, far far more dangerous!

    I better stop or I won't be able to sleep...and it is getting to be that time! (lol)