"We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."
The Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776
"Fourscore and seven years ago our fathers brought forth upon this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure."
Gettysburg Address - Abraham Lincoln November 1863
I saw some students being interviewed on TV recently. The question was asked, "Who did we (the U.S.) fight to win our independence?" There were about eight of them. They looked at each other, some just shrugged their shoulders, others tried to answer the question. One said France, another said "Maybe Spain" another said "The guys in the red coats" at which time one of the girls said, "The British!"
Times have changed, our country has changed, school curriculum's, attitudes and yes - morals have changed. My parents talked about American history at the dinner table, a lot, so did my husband and I when our children were growing up. We are a nation of immigrants - the only true American is the native Indian.
Under the law, we are equal, but we are different. We have different educations, skills and abilities. We are not guaranteed under the Constitution to have freedom from religion, but to have freedom of religion. We are free to practice any and all religions, or no religion at all.
My sweet paternal grandparents, Harry and Ruby, grew up in Chicago, and had parents who came here from Sweden. They said that no matter what country people came from, they wanted to first be an American. . .in thought, word and deed. They didn't want to change America, they wanted to be a part of America. They also wanted to hold on to their various ethnic roots. The Swedish liked meatballs and pickled herring and usually attended a Lutheran church. Many spoke only a few words of English when they arrived. No one had any special privileges, or a government subsidy to help them survive. They were on there own, sink or swim. My maternal grandfather first arrived from Sweden 1904 with $35.00 in his pocket; that was all he had. Despite their many difficulties in this new land, very few gave up and returned to the 'old country'. They stayed and persevered!
Most not only survived but eventually thrived; it wasn't easy. I believe their struggles made them strong and gave them the will and desire to make America what it is. They were self-sufficient, responsible people who built this amazing country. I didn't realize how amazing until I begin to travel with my husband in my early 30's. Most people take pride in their country; I'm very proud of mine.
Those who wrote our constitution and became our first governing body were God-fearing men. Most of our early immigrants were from Europe and they brought their Christian beliefs and principles with them. Our motto is "In God We Trust". Now many come from other faiths and worship many different gods. They don't always want to assimilate as the earlier immigrants did. Many come to take advantage of what they consider to be a wealthy government. Our government is supported by hardworking citizens. We pay taxes and the legislature decides how these funds should be distributed - much like other free countries. Law abiding people respectful of our history and traditions are always welcome.
The photo is a quilt I sewed together after we were attacked by terrorists on 9/11/2001. I enjoyed this project and am always reminded when I take the quilt out of the closet of how many young men and women have laid their life on the line to protect our freedom and democracy and those of many other countries who needed our help. Visit a national cemetery some day; an awesome experience.
"Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, the people he chose for his inheritance." Psalm 33:12
I love to go to baseball games, even when our team isn't very good. We have a big military presence at the Padres games. They are asked to stand and they receive a huge heart felt ovation. They play the song, 'God Bless America' - land that I love, stand beside her, and guide her. . .yes Lord, we ask that you continue to do that. Of course no game can start without the 'Star Spangled Banner', our national anthem. I usually cry.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY AMERICA - 241 YEARS YOUNG!