Saturday, July 4, 2009
Postcards for the 4th of July
Today is Independence Day, the birth of the United States of America. On July 4, 1776, we declared our independence and went to war for our freedom and liberty. We were led by great leaders who had foresight and believed in the ideals of freedom and equality. And out of the long struggle and hardship, a new nation was born, with the ideals of liberty and justice for all.
Many doubted the survival of the new nation. And we've not always lived up to our ideals. A civil war nearly tore the nation apart. But a strong leader gave his life in the struggle to keep the nation whole.
President Lincoln did more than just freeing the slaves and preserving the nation. He fundamentally changed the national identity from "these" United States to "the" United States, one nation, one people, Americans all.
E Pluribus, Unum--Out of many, one. We are a nation of many people, natives and immigrants, come together as one.
"Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"
—Emma Lazarus, 1883, The New Colossus, Statue of Liberty
We've accomplished some great things in cause of liberty and freedom.
Women are guaranteed the same rights as all American citizens.
Hey, just because I dress like a whore doesn't make it okay for you to stare at my ass!
But we've still got some ways to go.
We are faced with the challenges of dealing with our environment.
If you don't pick up your trash, I will cry a single, lonely tear.
And we're still faced with the ongoing struggle for human rights, equality for all Americans.
We're here! We're queer! Get used to it!
But let us take time today to remember our history and all the great things we've accomplished. We still have some ways to go in reaching our ideals, but we'll get there. So long as we believe in our ideals and work towards them, we'll get closer to making them a reality.
So Happy 4th of July, America! Enjoy the festivities and fireworks! Be happy and Be careful.
Whose child is that playing with the dynamite? Good Lord!