|The Contintental Colors aka Grand Union Flag|
I was raised to not be patriotic. I'm still not but I think it's important that I now acknowledge the 4th of July or Independence Day. On this day 237 years ago, the document known as the Declaration of Independence was signed. However, 2 days earlier, the 2nd Continental Congress voted to legally separate from Britain.
One thing I've learned being an ExJW is to research, research, research. How many of y'all knew that July 4th is not really America's birthday?
This year, I celebrated by going to an ExJW picnic in PA. The one of the hosts has this event every year in celebration of his independence from the JWs.
As far as celebrating it patriotically, well, read this excerpt from the DoI:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that [everyone is] created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.
I'm glad that individual states are approving marriage equality (that's the pursuit of Happiness part of the DoI) but it needs to be approved nationwide. 15 countries have legalized same-sex marriages. Racism and sexism are still problems. DWB (driving while Black) and the glass ceiling are very real.
So while you're enjoying an extended weekend, the neighborhood barbeques, and the awesome fireworks, take some time out to actually read the DoI and reflect on if our wondrous country is still living up to the basic principles stated therein. USA Patriot Act and Homeland Security, anyone?