To hear it from some people, you'd think that America was a terrible place with a terrible history with few redeeming qualities. Some of their points are valid, but they do not give a balanced perspective on our nation. Our Founding Fathers were men of wisdom and courage who sacrificed much and were prepared to give, even more, even their lives if necessary for us to gain our independence. That spirit of sacrifice, of putting liberty and freedom above our own lives and fortunes carries on to this day.
Are there issues facing this country that Kaepernick, his fellow athletes, and the rest of America should rightly speak out about? Of course. Protesting by taking a knee during the national anthem is their unquestioned right. The irony is the country that offers them that right ought to be respected for it. A further irony is that these professional athletes are rewarded for work in their chosen professions at a level that is far disproportionate to that of those who protect their rights. Their chosen form of protest does not show respect; it shows a fundamental misunderstanding of why Americans honor their country by standing for the Star Spangled Banner. The object is not to show total approval for their country, but to honor what it has been at its best, the great accomplishments of its people, and what it strives to be.
Independence Day needs to be a day not just to celebrate our independence, but one that reminds us to recommit ourselves to those freedoms that this country gained by the Revolution, and all those won since.
On that day, may it never come, our war dead will have given their last breath for no more a cause than a piece of land, some natural resources, or a border on a map. Memorial Day will be a much different day, a day to mourn more than the loss of American heroes, but of a free country that once existed that was worthy of their sacrifice.
Many have made the ultimate sacrifice for us to live in freedom. Do not squander it. Do not sell it cheaply. Let us strive to be worthy of their sacrifice. This is what we owe them, that and our everlasting gratitude.
If a candidate talks a lot about how much money they'll get for you, and very little of how much of your freedom they'll protect, you should think twice before you vote for them. Just sayin'.
Before we know it, the Republican debates will be upon us, and we will be made to choose sides. The debate over the PATRIOT Act has defined those sides. Will we choose the one that promises greater security, or the one that promises greater liberty?