Proud to Be...

The summer holiday weekend is almost upon us.  The country celebrates the 4th as Independence Day, but as many of you know (if you've been reading this blog for a while) that July 2nd is actually the day that Congress adopted the resolution to break from Great Britain.  (John Adams thought that July 2nd would be one for the history books.)

The history of America is not an easy one.  History is made in this country every day.  I'm sure most of you know that just last week the Supreme Court made history by ruling that the Constitution guarantees the right of same sex marriage.  Agree or disagree it IS historic; doesn't matter which side of the debate you are on.  (I am of the opinion that debate is a good thing and that both sides should be listened to. We need more RESPECTFUL debate.To listen and learn from each side of the road is a path that we all could grow from.) As a country we are constantly growing and evolving.  Change is part of the DNA of the United States.  Change is what birthed this country.  Not change for the sake of change, but a movement forward and hopefully a movement that makes us "better" and improves us.

Just think of our flag and how it has changed over the years.  As the country grew and changed; so did it.  But it also kept the same core.  It honors what went before (the 13 stripes) but recognizes the present (the 50 stars).  Perhaps in the future it might change again.  That in itself is not a bad thing as long as we keep and remember our history; where we have come from.

One of my favorite musicals (again something regular readers of this blog might know) is 1776.  One of the reasons I love it is that is doesn't sugar coat our history.  Our forefathers bickered and fought.  Politics were ugly.  Tempers flared.  In that respect, things have not changed. But they were passionate in their beliefs.  Just as I hope today's leaders are; no matter what level of government they participate.

History is not something to be ashamed of.  It is something to be learned from.  As people and as a country we are and always will be imperfect.  To think otherwise would be a mistake.  We need to recognize that.  Just because something is "wrong" doesn't mean we should reflect and learn from it. We need don't just need to teach history; we need to discuss and embrace it in all its ugliness and beauty.  History does not define us, but it can move us.

This holiday weekend, be a proud American. (Not a vain American, which is sometimes confused with pride.)  Our past may be ugly and full of shame at times.  But our history is also one of beauty and kindness.  Be proud of it all.  Who we once were can propel us to being a better "who we are" and who we can be.


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