Happy Birthday, Brave Nation
As I watched the "Rockets' Red Glare and Bombs Bursting in Air" last night at a friend's house (he had purchased lots of colorful things that went boom), I began to reflect on what this day means. After asking several of my fellow party-goers what July 4th meant to them, I realized that to most folks it's a day off from work and a great excuse to act like kids with matches. I am just as guilty of this. It's not that we don't know what day it is, but the significance is somehow lost. For once, I thought a little deeper.
Brave soles had signed what they thought would prove to be their death warrants, which had been adopted by Congress on July 4, 1776. To some, that proved to be the case. I tried to imagine the courage it must have taken to just put pen to paper with so much at stake.
I continued to imagine (as I continued to watch the display) what it must have felt like for Francis Scott Key a generation later to observe such awesome firepower and brutality from his vantage as a "guest" aboard a British Ship almost 200 years ago ~ so moved that he wrote his thoughts down while bearing witness to this unsuccessful (but deadly) barrage from the elite Royal Navy armada upon Fort McHenry. These jotted reflections of a young lawyer later became the National Anthem.
What has become of the spirit in which these were written? I see it in our military and first responders - some of the true heroes of our civilization. I don't see enough of it in our politicians, particularly those on the left. The words of Pelosi, Biden, Durbin, Kennedy, Reid, Boxer, Dean and many others ring hollow, self-serving and at the same time despicably self-loathing. Continued sound-bites dutifully supplied to our enemies in a time of war to be edited and rrebroadcast over the airwaves, hurting our soldiers and national mission. Insidious ad nauseum blather about imagined presidential lies, Abu Ghraib and Gitmo "atrocities" from our soldiers against those who fervently wish our destruction.
And now, with this unrelenting barrage of rhetoric and propaganda, our citizenry is getting worn down - our resolve is eroding. Liberal media and its one-sided coverage is beginning to take its toll on the American psyche. While our civilians happily lose themselves in Television, Movies, MP3s, Chat-rooms, Online Poker and any number of techno-distractions, our young men and women in uniform yearn for our undying support and resolve!
The fireworks over a Pasadena Maryland neighborhood were loud and exciting, but the fire in our ever-expanding bellies is going out.