I didn’t go to the Fourth of July fireworks display this year.  Tired, I stretched out on the downstairs sofa.  It was almost ten o’clock before the distant pop of fireworks came.  I went outside and stood in the cool night air watching the sparkling fire-flowers going off over the fairgrounds a mile away.  Sometimes I miss the days of watching parades, eating too much at a BBQ, sitting on blankets and huddling the children close as the lights go out and the fireworks shoot skyward.  Sometimes I just like to stand in the dark, all alone, and contemplate what it means to be an American. 

My grandparents and Rick’s emigrated to find a better life for themselves and their future children.  When they arrived, they worked hard and learned English.  They studied American history and the Constitution and passed the test to become citizens of this great country. They never failed to vote, considering it a sacred privilege and responsibility. 

“…We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness…” 

A nation can be destroyed by ignorance and freedom stripped away when we entrust our lives to the capriciousness of men. 

I bought a pocket-sized booklet containing the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States of America.  It takes less than thirty minutes to read the documents that set us apart from every other nation on earth. 

It is up to each one of us to know the truth of what is written, and not swallow the interpretations of those who would like to rule over us.