If The Fourth Of July Were Just Another Day....

Think about it: If July 4th had no significance other than being the fourth day of the month, where would we live? Would our country be called the United States of New Britain? Who would be our leader? We’d undoubtedly be ruled by a monarch who lives in a palace located an ocean away, rather than by a President who resides in a large, white house in Washington, D.C.

Hold on to that last thought. If we were ruled by a monarch, it follows that our government would be a monarchy rather than a democracy (although some have noted the shadow of socialism cast into our midst). At any rate, the democratic nature of the U.S. of A. does remain intact. Witness our process of electing the people who represent us, our inherent system of checks and balances, and, yes, our basic right to speak out for or against the government or anything else. “The People Speak” is not a cliched figure of speech. Think back to local elections that took place not all that long ago, when The People voiced their dissatisfaction with government practices and policies by ousting quite a few long-time incumbents.

Of course, if July 4th were just another day, we also would not be forced to witness the grueling campaigns of hordes of politicians and wannabes who spend countless hours and millions of dollars to achieve their dreams. This, however, is one of the prices we pay to ensure that the democracy for which our forefathers fought continues to thrive. Indeed, many of those politcal campaigns and candidates waste time and money that could (should?) be used to strengthen that very democracy. Perhaps if The People were to speak a bit louder the democracy would benefit.

If July 4th were just that: July 4th, would our children have the right to a free (free!!) education for twelve or thirteen years? No matter that, thanks to a troubled economy, our education system has been in turmoil recently. The fact remains that we continue offer our children the opportunity to be educated. The choice of whether or not they seize that opportunity, reap the rewards, and ultimately learn the lesson that knowledge indeed is power is theirs.

The Founding Fathers themselves were testaments to that fact. All of us have benefited from the wisdom borne of knowledge shared by educated men like Thomas Jefferson, Sam Adams, Ben Franklin, George Washington, etc. Of course, back in their day, men were able to be educated because they were wealthy. Thanks to those men, all people... male and female, rich and poor... in this country have been and continue to be privy to a free education.

Just imagine: If the Fourth of July were simply July 4th, the strains of “The Star Spangled Banner” would never be heard “from sea to shining sea” (America the Beautiful) or anywhere else. In fact, there would be no banner spangled with stars to represent our country. There would be no fireworks, either, for what would there be to celebrate? Uncle Sam would just be someone’s relative rather than the symbol of freedom and democracy, and red, white, and blue would be random colors.

If the fourth of July were just another day, the Twilight Zone marathon might still be featured on the ScyFi channel, leaving us with an ironic thought to ponder: would this country be lost somewhere in that zone?

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