Mark Twain wrote “Loyalty of country, always. Loyalty of government, only when it deserves it.” Never was a statement truer than this is today.
We’ve all heard this story many times in grade school or otherwise… A young Thomas Jefferson is employed by Benjamin Franklin and John Adams to pen a letter of declaration to the king. This is the document that the continental congress had been waiting so long for. Declaring our independence from England, this document was signed and dated July 4th, 1776.
What does this history lesson mean to the average American? Not a lot, actually. Because after 246 years, many Americans haven’t a clue what July 4th symbolizes, and that’s okay because it means something different for all of us. Historically yes, it is the day in which our founding fathers chose to stand up against “a long train of abuses and usurpations.” (Jefferson, 1776). But shouldn’t this day mean so much more?
To me, the 4th of July symbolizes the American dream that burns in all of us. In today’s hotly debated political climate, our freedoms are being threatened just as they were nearly 250 years ago. In order to fight back against those that wish to subjugate our freedom, we only require one thing…pride.
I love my country. With all of its faults, and all of its differences, I stand with my hand over my heart and pledge allegiance to that flag. I understand that this is not a popular statement to make these days. However, I know that I am not alone. I am not the only American that fights back tears when we stand for our national anthem. I am not alone when I long for the days of patriotic parade floats, hot dogs dripping with mustard; a frisbee flying past, and the screams of joy while we sit, nestled close to our loved ones, and watch the annual fireworks explode against the darkened sky.
Freedom is not free, and I will fight every day of my life for it, so that every man woman and child can gaze upon that flag, as I do and say: I love America.