I’ve got problems with America at this point in time, but I must appreciate the people who fought to make it possible for me to even write this post. All who can read should thank those who made it possible for you to read, too. We take reading and writing for granted, but there was a time when it was illegal for certain Americans to read and write, so let that stew in your mind while I remind you that even though our country seems like it’s headed to hell in a hand basket, there are people who have always been there on the front line, working for our freedom. Be it the freedom from British rule, or the freedom of Africans from an oppressive colonial regime, let’s not forget our freedom as there are others throughout the world who can only dream of such a legacy.
But we must not stop here, on the Fourth, this day is but a reminder of what our forefathers had to do to make it through; and a reminder of what others have done and are doing throughout the world to secure freedom.
And when I speak of freedom, it’s not a simple freedom, but a deeper level of freedom, the freedom to fully be ourselves. For example, last night I turned off all of the notifications that I normally use to get myself up and going on a typical workday and as trite as it sounds, that’s a blessing, for I know there are people out there in the world who can only dream of such an freedom. I guess that’s the price we pay to be Americans; and to have this day off in the middle of a busy work week.
I can only hope that you enjoy this day, and remember, or try to recall, those who fought for our freedom and particularly those who are often overlooked during this time of year, because they were not fighting for the greater American cause, but a “lessor” cause — that being the freedom to buy land, sit down at a counter, order breakfast, or the freedom to read and write.
I know, all too well, that my ancestors had to fight for these freedoms amidst having to go to war to protect the rights of all Americans. My grandfather, Harold Brown, who fought in the Korean war as well as my uncle Jackie Brown and his older brother Harold Brown, Jr., — two who served in our most recent wars to secure our rights of all Americans — come to mind.
Therefore, being American on this day means “chillaxing,” as the young folk say, and trusting that we are secure and able to overcome any adversity we experience, so be it.
You and me — and countless others — deserve to have a Happy Fourth. So get out the grill and have yourself a great day! And keep in mind that no matter who you are, or where you are, you deserve it.