Happy Fourth!

U.S. Flag flying in Brookfield, WI                 dwm photo
  It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more.  
               John Adams, letter to wife Abigail 
                                                   July 3, 1776

Despite the opinion of the man who became our second president - Independence Day wasn't made a federal holiday until 1870!

Happy 241st Birthday, America.

There will be games, shows, parades, fires, and illuminations all weekend to celebrate.  Some will use this day to yearn for the old days when it seemed the stars in the flag gleamed brighter and the blue patch where they reside shimmered an even deeper shade of blue.

Each time has its promise, its problems, and its possibilities - all the blessings we need surround us in abundance; we need to notice our blessings and work with those who have others.

The promise of the United States comes, in my mind, when we unite and find common ground where we can plant the flag and come to an understanding about the problems and the possibilities where we live.
Indianapolis 4th of July fireworks - 2009          dwm photo

While at times it can feel like this great experiment of a democratic republic is falling apart; the tears around the edges can reveal a resolve and what we have in common.

Just a couple weeks ago, when Congress was rocked when one of its members was shot - we heard calls from both sides of the aisle to elevate the debate and appeal to our better selves.

It's a good sentiment; I pray we can get there.

The calls to "make America great again" appeal to a time that didn't exist and can't be recreated.

Greatness isn't in ourselves or in a nostalgic walk down memory lane.  The greatness lays in the entire fabric of this land, sewn together through problems, promise, and potential.

Happy Birthday, Americans!