Ever feel like you’re backsliding and have no idea why? That’s me now. I’m sure I need more gym time, but I’m not sure how to go about it. This time of year the gym gets really hot in the afternoon and evening. That leaves more morning time. For some reason I have yet to fathom, it has been very difficult getting up lately. I need to meditate on the problem and maybe go through a revamp. I seem to be doing that a lot.
I hope everyone has a great Independence Day, which is Tuesday. My reason for posting this week’s picture is to do what everyone else does on all the other “patriotic” holidays – emphasize the true meaning of the day. A lot of people forget what this day is really about.
Independence Day is NOT a military holiday. It is not another Memorial Day; not another Veterans’ Day. Sure, we fought a war to win our independence, and the military is definitely a part of our nation’s history, but that one brief mention is all we need in this case. Independence Day celebrates our freedoms, such as freedom of assembly as shown in this week’s picture. Such as freedom of religion (or FROM religion, for that matter), and freedom of speech. Additionally, Independence Day celebrates our history – not just our military exploits, but everything else as well. It celebrates that we are a nation of immigrants; that the ingenuity of many considered “minorities” has advanced the way we live in this nation; that (despite today’s political climate) this nation progressed over the decades to enfranchise immigrant citizens, people of color, and women.
Independence Day is a time to celebrate our diversity. By “diversity” I don’t mean everything has to be from a minority point of view. To me, one has diversity only if everyone is represented. And contrary to the wishes of some, believe it or not those of us with a little less pigment in our skin cells are still around and still part of the great national pattern. That pattern includes people of every hue, every economic level, every political persuasion, and quite a few very interesting cultural backgrounds. No single group should feel that only their perspective should be represented. That went on for decades – far too long – in the past when US history was presented from a “whites only” perspective. That was wrong and is being corrected, but letting the pendulum swing too far in the other direction is not the solution – just a different type of distortion.
We have a similar problem with the way we perceive the US military. Back during the Viet Nam conflict the pendulum had swung way too far toward “anti-military” and the result was mistreatment of the rank and file military members by the citizens back home. I was against the conflict, but in a broader, more comprehensive way. I did not blame those who fought in the conflict; who were simply doing their jobs and following orders. But many did. Now, decades later, the country is going through what I call its Viet Nam Guilt Trip. The pendulum has come back and traveled too far in the other direction. There isn’t a day now that someone either in person, on TV, or in print doesn’t tell me to “thank a vet”, “remember our heroes”, or beg me to sign up to donate tons of money to a military oriented charity.
My father was a vet; I’m married to a vet. I cannot support the military for reasons I won’t go into here, but they are, again, very comprehensive and basic. In fact, they are philosophical – and I’m sure would be quite unpopular. I am definitely not politically correct in this area. But this is why I try to emphasize that Independence Day is not a military holiday. We have quite enough of those already.
Until next week….