Centuries ago, a group of men from thirteen colonies announced they were tired of the oppression and under-representation forced upon them and demanded the rights they thought they deserved. Many, if not all of them, new the formation of a country would be an experiment that could fail. Some may have even thought the plan was dead on arrival. Lucky for us Americans, the experiment worked, but it hasn’t been without struggle and loss.
Every 4th of July, we continue to celebrate the decision the founding fathers made for the people in the colonies that were desperate for change. But as each year passes, I believe we lose a little bit of the true reason why we celebrate this day, myself included. Many only care about the paid day off, while others are mesmerized by the fireworks we set offp when the sun goes down. I’m just as guilty. For years, during my undergrad degree, I spent this treasured day in an arcade center, passing out snow cones, exchanging tickets for cheap toys and cleaning out the filthy restrooms that people from all over the nation occupied. After graduation, I’ve enjoyed the days off, with pay, while taking what this nation has endured, for granted.
Today, I almost did the same thing for another year. But as I drove through my hometown, watching people celebrate what this day means to them, something changed inside me. I thought about how America’s freedom had been attacked many times before, and this year, the attack is from within.
The past year and a half, America’s integrity and influence has been torn apart, bit by bit. The national media, which is protected by the first amendment, something that keeps me protected when I want to write anything I chose, has been threatened since early 2017. The selection of our judicial branch is made to look like a beauty pageant. The process we use to elect officials has been compromised by foreign interests. And the scariest thing of all, is that our elected officials are now being investigated for allowing all of these things to occur.
I don’t have to come out and say what I’m trying to say, because all of you know what I’m talking about. Some of you will agree with me completely, while the others will judge me for what I put out. But something we all can agree on is that America’s soul is bleeding, and we’ve caused our own injuries. We have become the very threat our founding fathers worked so hard to protect us from. If we allow this to continue on, who will be the one to stand up and say, “Enough is enough!”
This Independence Day, I have decided to change my ways. I’m no longer going to allow the day to pass without standing up for what I believe in. I’m not going to lay around while I’m being paid to do nothing. And I’m certainly not going to let the dazzling lights in the sky distract me from what’s really important. I’m going to stand up and say, “I still believe in what America has worked so hard to preserve, and I’m going to make sure the ones we’ve allowed to keep that in place are held responsible for the duties we’ve entrusted them with.”
For those who read this, I hope you’ll do the same…