Yesterday I reached out to Grandma Social Media and posed this tongue-in-cheek question:
“How would you feel about the US observing/celebrating Fourth of July on the first Friday of every July rather than on the actual Fourth, to avoid years like this?”
Comments ranged from “Sure, why not” to “Leave it alone” to “Not in Favor” to “Falkenberg for Congress” to “Racist.” Not so sure about the last two . . .
We debated whether or not the Declaration of Independence was actually signed on July 4, 1776, as Benjamin Franklin and a few others wrote, or if it was signed on August 2, 1776, as many historians believe. Commenters discussed how Christmas is actually celebrated on a day other than the actual day Jesus was born. Participants also suggested the Superbowl be on Saturday instead of Sunday. ‘Merica.
One poster said that people who think the 4th of July is just about fireworks and BBQs are wrong. I responded that the 4th of July actually is supposed to be a celebration, after all they fired 13 gunshots on July 4, 1777. We ultimately agreed that the celebration is fine as long as they know what they’re celebrating.
But in all of it, I noticed something.
Not one single person negated the Bad-Assedness of the greatest nation in the world turning 242 years old (Yes, I’m aware some people debate this number – don’t jack with my blog post, please).
Americans pick at each other on social media; you’re hard pressed to find even a positive thread without someone disrupting the bottom-line harmony of the post.
Not on this one.
I don’t know what you did this morning, but I woke up at 6:15 am, went to a local park, met with some members of Iron Antler Ruck, and coordinated a timed-5k ruck (weighted run). We are training teams for the Bataan Memorial Death March, set for March 17, 2019. Several other members of Iron Antler Ruck, myself included, ran this timed-trial on Saturday. Those that couldn’t make it Saturday ran it today.
On their day off. They ran with weight on their backs, suffering in the morning heat (it’s humid and in the 80s in Central Texas in July shortly after the sun rises). These people woke up today, like many others across the nation, and remembered that they live in the greatest nation on earth.
Before the run started, my buddy Kevin, a retired Marine Corps officer, read Marine Corps Sgt. Dakota Meyer’s Medal of Honor citation. You can and SHOULD read it here.
It’s that same spirit that got these folks up to run today. Sure, they want to get in better shape and do something adventurous like run 26.2 miles in the high deserts of White Sands Missile Range with 35# on their backs.
But the main reason is because of the community it creates. A community where you suffer with others to become stronger. Why?
Intrinsic in folks like these is the need to be stronger so that they may be of service to others in a place where they belong.
THAT is the United States of America. THAT is what Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, John Hancock, and many others inked onto parchment back in 1776.
Community. A group of people banding together, becoming stronger, circling the wagons and protecting each other, serving each other. Prosperity. Common defense and welfare.
We go around the world helping others, we open our doors to immigrants, legal and illegal, we fight the good fight. We may argue with each other. We may debate. We may call each other Left or Right or Conservative or Liberal or Hippie or Hillbilly or Crazy or Insane or Lazy or Self-Righteous or Immoral or Too Religious or Not Religious Enough.
But when it comes down to the wire, when it comes down to people needing desperate help, we stick together. We forget all our differences and we stick together as Americans.
That’s what happened on 9/11/2001. A nation divided over a recent contested presidential election and a hanging chad came together, licked our wounds, and put the smack-down on terrorism within weeks. And it has happened many times before and several times since.
Who really cares if some of us would rather dedicate a Friday to observing the Fourth? Who cares if others of us never want that sort of thing to happen? Who cares if the Super Bowl is moved to Saturday? (Don’t even go there, die-hards!)
Because no matter what, TODAY we all want to celebrate what the signatures on the Declaration of Independence stand for:
That a group of free thinkers, who would not tolerate tyranny, banded together to create what would 242 years later be the greatest nation on earth.
A community. You and me.
Happy Fourth of July, my friends. Now go blow some $h!t up.
Thank you for stopping in.
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