Happy Independence Day! In all the places I’ve lived and traveled, I’m not aware of any nation that celebrates its founding, and more specifically it’s freedom, the way we do in the US, and in particular, here in Texas.
Every country had a beginning and some have rich and ancient histories of which they are proud. Some celebrate the creation of their state enterprise and some their freedom from some form of tyranny or oversight.
Amongst all nations however, the combination of the celebration of freedom and the great success of our national experiment with personal liberty is rivaled by none. Here in Texas, there is a particular pride in our both state and national independence.
For some it may be a little over the top, for others not enough. No matter our views, we all benefit from this place we call home. I hope that this year we can all celebrate and reflect on the benefits, the costs, and the responsibilities that go along with it.
If you choose to celebrate with your own reenactment of the Star Spangled Banner’s “bombs bursting in air,” please do so safely. The use of personal fireworks is allowed in town limits if the fire marshal has not issued a burn ban. If that level of liberty is too constricting for you, please don’t start a revolution in the streets, feel free to use the legislative process to advance your cause!
It is also worthy of noting the new holiday that has been recognized nationally, Juneteenth. While it has already passed for this year, it is important to our education and remembrance to see how far we’ve come and how far we have to go. It will be refreshing and interesting to see how this new holiday develops in terms of traditions and celebrations in coming years. It has been an education for me to learn more about this memorial to the end of slavery and in particular, it’s roots in Texas.
Whether your ancestral and/or personal story is one that started generations ago in our struggle for independence, emancipation, escape from foreign tyranny or an immigrant journey in search of freedom or opportunity, may this year be a celebration of you, your family, and of US, with liberty and justice for all.