July 4th is the day we set aside to celebrate the birth of our nation, but our nation wasn’t born that day so much as it was conceived. The embryonic nation gestated during the Revolutionary War, underwent difficult labor during the Articles of Confederation, and was born, finally, with the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.
The early years of the nation were like a child growing up, with the Louisiana Purchase its first steps, the War of 1812 being bullied during middle school, and the Civil War an angry adolescent trying to figure itself out. Any father worth his salt knows that all children have issues and that they are, at best, a work in progress. After a century of fighting, we expect that the best is yet to come.
America, you have a lot of fine attributes, and here is a short list of my favorites:
- ample opportunity for self-expression
- lively debate during elections
- robust commerce that gainfully employs so very many
- abundant resources that provide a relatively luxurious lifestyle
It is easy at times to criticize American policies and processes. The elected leaders often prove to be fallible, gullible, and ignoble. And the wealthy elitists more often than not act like selfish children intent on eating all the cake. But I’m taking this moment to acknowledge the many good things this nation does for so very many people, and to wish you, America, all the best in all of your endeavors with the hope that our children, and our children’s children will enjoy peace and prosperity even as they find ways to make their nation an even better place to live.