Happy Independence Day

No hablando de codorniz?

Hopefully Babelfish steered me straight on the heading as my Spanish is on par with my German (which is to say that I don't speak either). I like to refer to Spanish as Mexican, which elicits a tired groan from my wife (used to be a Spanish teacher).

While I will be quick to admit that the United States of America has a ton of problems and has fallen away from some of the founding principles. I do believe that the US is still the best place on Earth to live. I believe that we Americans enjoy prosperity and freedom beyond that of any other country or time period in recorded history. Please note that I am speaking as a generalization as there are certainly injustices and inequality among our people.

 

Taking a step back

In our day-to-day lives, we've recently been in dispute over the interpretation of PG County law (which I'll highlight further in a future blog post). Our frustrations over law ambiguity and needless bureaucracy are such that we are actively looking to move out of the county. Political dissent (look at the last election or media generally negative portrayal of elected officials) and routine annoyances cloud the big picture of exactly how good we have it. 

Scan international headlines to see talk of violent protests, suppressed freedoms, violations of human rights, and corruption. While we are not entirely free from these, they are much less abundant in the US. Suddenly, my daily frustrations become more like minor inconveniences.

Fireworks

We celebrated the 4th a day early. With work/school obligations and a desire to avoid the instant gridlock after a fireworks display, we decided that the 3rd would work well for enjoying the annual fireworks festivities. Our whole family went to Six Flags, enjoyed both the water park and the rides, and concluded with a patriotic display. The fireworks (coupled with the national anthem) were a strong reminder that our freedom did not come without cost. Massive explosions ripping through the air in a show of sparks and light speak in remembrance of the chaotic scene of British ships bombing Fort McHenry. This was the scene inspiring Francis Scott Key's lyrics.

And the rocket's red glare, the bombs bursting in air

Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there

Future

My hope and prayer is that our nation would hold true to our freedoms. That we would enjoy the festivities and food, but would still take a minute to remember that shed blood has purchased our most precious gifts. I'd like my children and grand-children to enjoy the same, if not better, prosperity and opportunities that I've been blessed to enjoy. I hope that our nation would stand until the end of this world and would still be able to sing...

Oh say does that star spangled banner yet wave

For the land of the free, and the home of the brave

Regardless of your political affiliations, I home you can join me in asking...

God Bless America!


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