Does it say that on calendars in Canada and Mexico? We have theirs on our calendars so I wonder if they have ours. Just a thought...
The 4th of July (Independence Day) is probably my favorite national holiday. I don't really know why I'd be jumping up and down in excitement on Labor Day or Memorial Day but even still, the 4th is my favorite for a reason beyond the fireworks, parades, and cheesey songs. (By the way, the songs most people call 'cheesey' actually make me very happy. I don't think they're cheesey at all!)
There is something about being an American citizen that really makes me smile. I love this country and I am proud to call it my own. It is comforting too to know that patriotism is a noble thing.
I want to say that again. Patriotism is a noble thing.
I don't remember how long ago it was when I was watching some grown men fight over loyalties to different countries. The argument on one side was basically that we shouldn't show pride of our citizenship because we are part of a larger body that is not encompassed by one nation. On the other side then was the argument that loyalty to one's country must always come first and foremost, even before the body of Christ.
The extremes seem unrealistic but they exist in so many people. But my question to those people is this: why must we ignore the country that we call our home? Why must we never speak of our country that we help to build stronger every day, the country that we help to run, the country that we have chosen for ourselves and our families? And to the others: what element forces us to ignore the spiritual body of Christ on earth in order to make our country seem more important? Why must there be such a huge focus on our nation outside of God? Something is surely wrong or missing if we must denounce the body of Christ as our own in order to respect our country.
There is a balance of God and country that is good and right. The catechism tells us so. I have always been and will most likely always be proud to call myself an American. I'm even more proud to call myself a Catholic American.
On this day 230 years ago, our land was born in a new way. Every year we grow in numbers and in spirit. More men, women, and children than you can count on all your fingers and toes leave their homelands and come to discover the 'American dream' every year. They come here seeking refuge from all kinds of unimaginable situations... and I welcome them with open arms.
I love America for the people. They are not perfect, but they try.
I love the street workers, the businessmen, the bankers, doctors, lawyers. I love the birds that soar in our skies. I love the trees that grow in our yards. I love the rivers and streams that gave birth to our cities. From the mountains in Montana to the skyscrapers of New York, from Hollywood to Portland, 'from sea to shining sea', I love all that America is and stands for.
Never allow yourself to pass a flying flag without remembering where you are and where you came from. You may not have started here (or you may have) but this is where you are now and chances are, you chose it. You chose America and America chooses you. We are ONE NATION UNDER GOD, INDIVISIBLE, WITH LIBEERTY AND JUSTICE FOR ALL. Never allow yourself to listen to the national anthem without really listening to the words - those words written so many years ago, those words written about the tragedy of war but the joy of freedom. Never allow yourself to forget those people who in so many ways have courageously given of themselves - and continue to give of themselves - for our home.
Boy on Float
Fourth of July Parade.
Russell Lee, photographer, 1941.
However you celebrate today, you do not celebrate alone. Don't be scared to share the joy of freedom with others as you pass them today - or any day - in the store, on the sidewalk, or in your car. May God bless America (land that I love) and all of her people!“I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands. One nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”Happy 4th of July to you and your family!
-- Be happy I didn't post all of my favorite patriotic hymns and songs. The list is LONG. --