The 4th of July
by Jessica Ehlers, July 4, 2010
The 4th of July parade in Mendocino. If you've never been, you should check it out. It's like no other 4th of July parade.
The fire trucks were a big hit with my little man. Following the firetrucks, I caught my breath. Here they came. The older Vets marching in uniform. I stood there on the street next to my boy, tears streaming down my face. These proud older gentleman carrying with them the flag and volumes of dusty untold stories. And these men are just those who survived.
Last night I watched the fireworks in the Noyo Harbor. The beach itself was ablaze with laughter and bonfires and firecrackers. Boats shot their own fireworks shows and just when I was sure it was over, then the real show started. First, I thought of Disneyland. Then, the lyrics to the Star-Spangled Banner and, like today, more tears.
What the hell?
"The rockets red glare. The bombs bursting in air..." As the song was playing in my head I was wondering if indeed, freedom can ever be free. Starting to wonder things like, What is freedom? Is it the fact that I can vote and wear jeans and have a job? Is it that the roads are paved? To get divorced? And this the act of pursuing happiness. Just what is that, exactly?
And it isn't like those on the Mayflower who landed on the shores of America had any claim to "This Land". It isn't much about patriotism per se, it is about the fact that I believe in our Constitution. Am I alone here?
How is it that we have let our Country become ruled by corporations? Why spend so much money at war when our kids cannot even read when they graduate high school? I know I have a tendency to trust that someone has it handled so I shouldn't worry about it too much. This is a dangerous game. Time to use our voices people. What do you have to say?
Happy B-Day America. I am, in actuality- very grateful to be an American. Just for the record.