Today in Korea we will celebrate the Independence of America. We will do it with all sorts of traditional things, like BBQ, bounce houses, face paint, singing, dancing, and of course, fireworks. It promises to be a great day...if it doesn't rain, and no one gets hurt. A big if!
However, my day hasn't quite started yet. I haven't woken up the kids to get ready for our fun run and I'm still in my pj's drinking coffee. I'm pondering.
Over 200 years ago we fought so hard to be free from oppression and tyranny. We shed blood to own the right to be called our own nation. Some perished, some mourned, some showed extraordinary courage, and some...some just lived. When the smoke cleared, when silence finally reigned, we found ourselves free.
The road to freedom was bloody and hard, but the road through freedom has not been any easier. The fight to pull together and become a country is probably little known. The States did not want an overseer and fought a central government hard! The fight to add to our nation caused us to war with other countries, some might even say we stole land from another country. The entire middle section of our country was technically purchased illegally. The fight to recognize people as human beings, despite skin color, tore this nation apart.
It amazes me that people look to America as a beacon of hope, because we are constantly fighting with one another over SOMETHING. We are expected to save the world because we call democracy our way of life and yet...we fight with each other. Even today with certain issues, we fight each other. There is no calm discussion of rights or ideals. There is no walking away from a disagreement thinking "what a fine fellow that was. Too bad we don't agree.". No. Instead there is division and hatred, meanness and cruelty towards fellow man.
There is a saying "United we stand. Divided we fall." I look at the place I call home and I wonder how much longer it will stand. I wonder how long it will be before civil war breaks out again in my own home. How much longer will it be before MY home is war torn?
I see so much discord and anger. I see people fanning the flames of hatred. No longer are we allowed to politely express opinions if they go against main stream. No longer do the people govern. No longer are we strong, hardy individuals. No...now we are a pampered society with #firstworldproblems and fear lurking in our hearts.
I'm afraid for my children growing up in this America. I'm afraid because the government keeps secrets, neighbor turns against neighbor, and the need to fit in has become paramount to success. I'm afraid because the wealth gap is huge and because greed has taken over, no longer concerned about supporting our local area, but concerned about the bigger profit margin. I'm afraid because I have raised my children to speak up when they see something wrong, and sadly, I'm afraid that will make them outcasts.
I love America. I served her for 5 years. I am proud that my family has a military background. Attending my father's retirement is a highlight of my life. I love what this country stands for and what it is supposed to mean to oppressed nations everywhere. I love the diversity and variety one can see all across this great land. I just love it. And I'm afraid for it.
This Fourth of July I wonder if we are thinking about freedom and the price paid...or if we are thinking about firing up the grill. I hope you all take a moment to THINK, and maybe start looking for ways to make our country stronger.
Happy 4th y'all!!