when in the course of human events the truth hurts

Yesterday, as I have already shared, was the anniversary of my late brother’s birthday. Of course it was also the 241st birthday of these United States and their Declaration of Independence from England and King George III – which of course all Americans know is why we have parades everywhere and why we wear all the red, white and blue stars and stripes, watch that Will Smith movie and why we enjoy anything and everything under the hot July sun, as well as the blowing up of all the rockets red glare, legal and illegal.

We all do know this?

Right?

Of course we all do because we are Americans it’s ‘murica that we are celebrating as we celebrate our Independence Day.

Right?

Naturally, it would be safe to assume that all of us Americans would recognize the Declaration of Independence because, after all, that is what we are celebrating on Independence Day – these United States declaring their independence from Great Britain and the British Crown.

Of course we all would.

Except we all don’t. Some Americans don’t recognize it at all. And some might even take it as a personal attack on their politics and their Leader and…well, it’s sad to imagine that some of us who wrap ourselves up so tightly in the Stars and Stripes imagining that they are more American than anyone who does not ascribe to their beliefs can not recognize the words of the sacred document that was the catalyst of the birth of our Nation.

Sad.

And laughable too.

Sad!

No, it was not an attack against the man who is sometimes in the White House, nor is it not a call to arms to overthrow him and the Party who, for now, is in charge of all branches of the Federal government; even if some passages might remind us of the weird that is history repeating itself sometimes.

Some Americans might not recognize the actual words of the Declaration of Independence when they hear it or read it, but I am certain that 15,000 new American citizens do – as they must pass a citizenship test which SURPRISE includes questions about the Declaration of Independence.

on the deck of the USS Hornet, Alameda, CA photo credit – Sharon Rummery

Congratulations, my new fellow Americans!

For what it’s worth, I tested myself too and I am really embarrassed to admit that I missed one of the 20 sample test questions.

Whenever you feel that future is threatened, whenever those values of liberty and justice for all that drew us here seem under assault, you need to speak up and speak out. That’s the whole point of the freedoms we cherish.

Senator Kamala Harris

celebrating life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness

We hold these truths to be sacred & undeniable; that all men are created equal & independent, that from that equal creation they derive rights inherent & inalienable, among which are the preservation of life, & liberty, & the pursuit of happiness; …

Thomas Jefferson’s original rough draught on display at The Library of Congress

Wise words quoted much. Quoted much the past few days in defense of blowing up all the fireworks all the days and nights leading up to our Independence Day; and likely the days and nights after because ‘murica is great y’all! Quoted much also in defense of the right to enjoy a quiet evening in your own home without the pets freaking out or to just enjoy an uninterrupted, good night’s sleep before rising at 4AM to start one’s work day. Spoken out loud in celebration of a day to camp by the lake or boat on the Dirty Delta or float in the pool…and of course drink all the beer…followed by blowing up all the fireworks….again, because ‘murica y’all.

I wonder if, 240 years later, would John Adams approve? After all he did say, It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations from one end of this continent to the other from this time forward forever more. But he first said, It ought to be commemorated as the Day of Deliverance by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. 

I’m rambling, I know. But I will make no apology because it’s my life, my liberty and my pursuit of happiness too.

Happy Independence Day!

Adams, remarking the difficulty for which the resolution for independence was passed, said it was like getting thirteen clocks to strike at the same instant.

Garry Wills

the Fourth’s top four

On the Fourth, my family circus celebrated Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness in our own special way; which I like to imagine is exactly what Thomas Jefferson envisioned when he wrote down those words.

Why should pundits and politicians be the only ones who can know what our Founding Fathers were thinking some 239 years ago?

Am I right?!

Our family circus top four moments on the Fourth are:

Watching Independence Day as we do every year because it makes perfect sense to us to be sitting together and watching this movie. Next year is likely to be different because Independence Day Resurgence…thank you, Roland Emmerich!

Barbecue, swatting flies, trading stories and just generally enjoying the company of family and friends.

Number three is a two=parter because it is.

Prime viewing of our town’s fireworks show. Added bonus not getting stuck in traffic because we are in our neighbors’ backyard.

Lighting our own, although this year The Big Top’s fireworks show was greatly subdued, as was the rest of our neighborhood’s, because everything is brown and dying while we all do our part conserving water during this drought…all of us except that one neighbor on the corner who literally waters his lawn SIX TIMES DAILY!

But, hands down, the top moment of our Independence Day celebration was when this kid swam underwater the width of our neighbor’s pool for the very first time! Absolutely the very best moment!!

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. ~ Thomas Jefferson