Saturday, July 4, 2015

Happy Birthday, America!

I'm the kind of girl who tears up at the National Anthem.

I may have also teared up at My Old Kentucky Home in the middle of Commonwealth Stadium...

My roots run deep.  I've lived within the same five mile radius for all of my 35 years.  Sometimes, that's a good thing... most of the time, in fact.  Oh, there are always days when I get upset with hometown politics or get frustrated with having to drive an hour to watch a movie... but mostly, I love Breathitt County.

I love Kentucky.

And I love America.

I love the thought of the Stars and Stripes waving over the steeple of a church against a blue sky.

I love our history, how we overcame tyranny to become independent and welcomed the masses.

I love my heritage, Eastern Kentucky people raised hard who have compassion and love for each other.

I love McDonalds French fries and Audrey Hepburn and JFK and Jackie.  Oh, wait.  Hepburn was not an American actress... but you can't get more American than Tiffany's.

I love apple pies... well, maybe not... but I loved making them with my Grandma.

I love football- American style.

I love the summer sun as the waves from the Atlantic crash against the shoreline.  I can close my eyes and smell sunscreen, feeling that sun on my cheek and smelling that ocean air, even here in the humid Appalachian Mountains.

I love accents... all different kinds.  It amazes me how I can speak one way and someone from the other side of the state can say the same word and it sounds different.

I loved the Grand Canyon and the Washington Monument and Abe Lincoln's statue on the Washington Mall.  I sat in revered awe at Ford's Theatre almost twenty years ago, still feeling "something" even after all of those years.

I've been to Niagra Falls in the north and Daulphin Island, Alabama in the south... to the great state of Texas and have kinfolk in Michigan.  I've met people from most of the 50 states and I have to say that we are more alike than different.

239 years ago, our forefathers signed the Declaration of Independence stating that they wished to be absolved from any allegiance to England. To be free from tyranny. To be able to make their own decisions.

"Our Creator" endowed us with certain unalienable rights- Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.

They signed off on the declaration "with the firm reliance on divine Providence."

 Our Creator. Divine Providence.  When someone goes against the laws of nature and nature's God.

Our nation was based on more than just religious freedom... but the very document declaring us as free pointed to dependence on a Higher Being.  Not just any higher being... but God. 

And this last line... it is what made America so great. "we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor. "

Pledge to each other our lives. 

Our fortunes.

Our sacred honor.

Even if  God was not mentioned... that last line is what Christianity was founded on.

“The greatest among you will be your servant.”   Matthew 23:11

You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love.”   Galatians 5:13

I have shown you in every way, by laboring like this, that you must support the weak. And remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.”  Acts 20:35

Our forefathers believed in unity.

Men and women throughout the years have fought for unity. Many gave their life to support this cause.

Our name says it all- The United States of America.

United- unity. 

It's the only way we can be great.

I may not agree with you.

You may not agree with me.

But we can respect.

Respect the freedom of speech- I have the right to express my beliefs.  You do, too.  Let's not argue. When we don't like what is being said, present our viewpoint respectfully and then let it drop.

Respect the freedom of religion- I serve God and am so thankful that I can get up every Sunday morning and go to church.  I appreciate the opportunity to go into a store and buy a Bible to read. You may not believe the same as I do.  We all have the right of freedom of expression in our religion.

But we can mutually pledge to support and love each other... as Americans.

Happy Birthday, America!  May you continue to be blessed by divine protection.

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