The 4th of July


The 4th of July, 1776 is not the only day America saw its birth. We have gone through the pangs of being reborn several times in the last 248 years.  After the Revolutionary War it wasn’t all roses for the new nation. There were large monetary debts hanging over our head, families were morning the loss of loved ones, men who went back to their families after 8 long years of fighting and death needed to readjust to the lives they left behind. Lives that would forever be changed. Most of the men were boys when they went to fight, and now they needed to learn how to be a man in a new country.

The articles of the Constitution and the truths in the Declaration of Independence were not afforded to everyone.  The war with Britian did not settle the domestic problems in the colonies, and it did not end tyranny for all 2.5 million people living in them. Their fight had just begun. The next 10 years were rocky at best. The political system and the economy was in a downward spiral. The first rebirth took place in 1787 when a new Constitution was drawn up giving the federal government more power over the states. The idea here was to ensure that groups like former slaves and women would see their rights as well. This was not the magic pill, however. The mindset of the average person was still in a world of prewar. Taking power away from the states was a risky and very big government move. This create more problems and caused tension between the people.

The second rebirth came in 1791 when again, the constitution saw a change. The first 10 amendments were added called, The Bill of Rights. This was an attempt to help clarify and enforce the ideas of both the original and second constitution. Since then, 17 more amendments have been ratified by congress and added to the constitution for a total of 27 amendments over the life of the constitution.

The third time America saw a rebirth was in 1920 when the 19th of these 27 amendments was ratified. It gave women the right to vote. 144 years delayed, but with this change came new ideas, new morals and new ways of living in what had been prior to this, a man’s world.  

The pains of a fourth rebirth came out of another fight. In 1941, the Japanese destroyed Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. The attack took the islands off guard and over 3,000 men, women and children were killed. America was thrust back in time and the blood and grief of war covered the country as it had in the beginning. Once again, we were fighting for our freedom.  This time the price was paid in lives and emotions never felt before. In 1945, to end the war that enveloped the whole world, America struggled with her conscience and death won out. In August of that year, America dropped two atomic bombs on the cities of Nagasaki and Hiroshima, Japan. The war was over, those two days changed America and the world forever.

The fifth rebirth of our nation came on September 11, 2001. The first two planes hit the Twin Towers in Manhattan in early morning, destroying the massive buildings along with thousands of people inside of them and on the planes. A third plane crashed into the side of the Pentagon, 58 passengers and crew along with 127 people in the building died. Then a fourth plane carrying 49 passengers was on its way to the White House, the passengers onboard this plane would not have it. Their heroic efforts forced the jetliner to crash in a field in Pennsylvania, killing everyone on board. This act of terrorism was second only to the attack on Pearl Harbor. “Our people are strong. A great people have been moved to defend a great nation…” said President George W. Bush the day America was assaulted. It was also the day we were born once again, literally rising out of the ashes and declaring war on terrorists all around the world.

Over the years we have seen many rebirths, some small and some huge, abut all come with the pains of change. We celebrate the 4th of July as being the beginning of our America, but it is more of a chain of rebirths and reuniting. After each rebirth, we have come closer as a nation and as individuals. We have been reintroduced to the greatest country on the planet, and each time we have emerged stronger under the Flag of our liberty and freedom that flies over our heads. When a child is born the parents have to tend to it, care for it and love it. America is our collective child. As her parents we need to care for her, respect her and love her. We need to be there for her when she falls, and rejoice with her when she succeeds. America, our child, our refuge and our home. So, this 4th of July before you eat that hot dog, hamburger, or potato salad, or watermelon, please take a moment to look at our Flag and whisper ‘Thank you…’ to the men and women who fought, died, and lived for her. From back in 1776 thru all of the rebirths, America has been defended by the bravest men and women the world has ever seen…you! Happy 4th of July!!!!

God Bless America!