This weekend we will celebrate America’s 233rd birthday. When I was growing up we called it “Independence Day”. It was a celebration of our country’s freedom, a way of life the rest of the world envied. Today, we simply call it July 4th. It seems to be more about getting off work, cooking out and watching fireworks.
Do we understand or even appreciate the significance of that historic day? It’s truly amazing when you think about what our “Founding Fathers” accomplished in the face of death. Thirteen tiny colonies banded together to defeat Great Britain, the world’s most powerful country. They fought for their freedom and won. They established a government run by the people … for the people. These words from the Declaration of Independence may be the most powerful words put to paper since the Holy Bible.
“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. -- That to secure these rights Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, -- That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation of such principles and organizing powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”
Former President Ronald Reagan once said, “Democracy is worth dying for, because it’s the most deeply honorable form of government ever devised by man”. I would add devised by man and inspired by God. For those that may question God’s involvement, all you have to do is read the words of our “Founding Fathers”. They were men of great faith and vision.
Today, that dream … that vision … continues. 233 years later America is still that “shining city on a hill”. Some want to call that arrogance … I call it patriotism. Some want to apologize for our history … I plan to celebrate it.
Regardless of our problems, America is still the greatest country in the world. When other nations are threatened by enemies or devastated by natural disasters, they turn to America for help. That is part of this country’s legacy and part of what makes America great.
I encourage you to do two things as you celebrate our Independence. First, take a moment to read the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. Protect your freedoms. You typically lose what you don’t know you have. It doesn’t happen overnight, it’s a "Slow Fade". This song from Casting Crowns is about marriage, but the words can apply to anything in life, including freedom.
It’s a slow fade
When black and white are turned gray
And thoughts invade, choices made
When you give yourself away
People never crumble in a day
Daddies never crumble in a day
Families never crumble in a day
Freedoms never crumble in a day – (those are my words)
And finally, a simple request from one of our Mountain Warriors. Lieutenant Colonel John Luttrell says, as you celebrate Independence Day this weekend, “find a veteran and say thank you.”
Here at WYMT we plan to do just that. Tune in this Wednesday, Thursday and Friday (July 1st-3rd) at six and eleven for our series “Celebrating our Defenders of Freedom. We will highlight three veterans from World War II, Vietnam and Iraq. It is our way of saying thank you to all veterans, past and present, who have sacrificed to protect our freedoms.
We are also starting a new daily feature on Mountain News called “Defenders of Freedom”. All you have to do is mail or email a picture of your loved one, along with their name and where they are stationed. We hope to begin this feature within the next couple of weeks. I’ll keep you posted here on the blog.
Mail: Defenders of Freedom
P.O. Box 1299
Hazard, KY 41701
As always, thanks for making WYMT-TV your source for news and information. We appreciate your trust.
God Bless America!
WYMT Mountain News
Appreciate Freedom – Thank a Vet!