United we stand

Aside from Christmas, the Fourth of July is probably my favorite holiday of the year. It’s not the BBQ cook outs or the fireworks that light up the night sky, but it is the fellowship among my fellow countrymen and women that I appreciate the most. While patriotism is nationwide, I feel that in small town America, it takes front stage. All across little towns in this great nation, flags line city streets as they wave from the light posts. Parades where farmers drive their combines, and the local volunteer fire department polish up their trucks so they can throw candy out to eager youngsters start off the celebrations. Class reunions, softball games, kid races and watermelon feeds are filled with smiling faces enjoying the day and celebrating the birth of our country.

This is the America that soldiers have fought and died for, the America that people risk their life to have a life in, and the true America that exists despite what some would have us think. Our country was founded on the belief that people should be free. Free to live, free to worship, to speak, bear arms and govern themselves. The United States on the Fourth of July represent why we are free to do these things. On the Fourth of July in small town USA, we are the country our founding fathers imagined. A country where we work together, we put our grievances aside and look at our fellow countrymen as equals, instead of political rivals, friends instead of just faces we see. You cannot help but feel a sense of pride and patriotism when you attend an Independence Day celebration.

Independence Day is more than a day off work. It is a day where we remember all the struggles that our county has been through. While our country may have some dark spots in our past, we have done our best to right our wrongs and grow together to be the true land of opportunity for all. Through every growing pain, struggle, and tragedy, we have always come out stronger. Looking back, many of the hardships that our country has gone through are the reason that we are who we are today. Had it not been for signatures on the Declaration of Independence, we might still be a colony for Britain. Without the horrors and bloodshed of the Civil War we might still have the inhumanity of slavery. Had we not protested, women might not have had the right to vote, and had brave men not stormed the beached of Normandy in 1944, most of Europe might be a vastly different place.

It’s no secret that we as a country are not perfect, but there is no other place in the world that I would want to call home. It doesn’t matter if you drive a tractor in Nebraska, build cars in Detroit, or broker stocks on Wall Street, we are all Americans. While we may disagree from time to time, we are all joined in the bonds of patriotism. We are free to disagree, free to each have our own opinion. Not everyone has to share your opinion, and that is just fine. Instead of spreading anger and hate when we disagree, use debate and civility to resolve and find solutions.

For me, I wish for every American to live everyday like it’s the Fourth of July. Be kind to your neighbor, take a lesson from the T-ball team that stands at attention while the national anthem plays, and shake hands with your neighbor instead of getting into an argument with them. That’s all for this time. Remember to eat beef at your BBQ this summer and keep tabs on your side of the Barbed Wire. God Bless.

Jade Meinzer


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