of all days should be sacred to all Americans. It is a day wherein a group of
men put their fortunes, their
hopes, their dreams and their very lives on the line. It is a day in which some 80 years later a great civil war was fought
to preserve those ideas; that ALL Men are indeed created equal.It is a day for
self-reflection that we all are part of a continuing revolution that slowly moves ahead the ideals of freedom and democracy.
Sometimes it comes in the
form of war. It is not that we as a people actively seek it, but it finds us none the less.Yet as such, we, the citizen soldiers of this nation have for the most part made the world a better place. Have we
made mistakes, of course we have. No human endeavor is perfect and is limited by the flaws that we as human beings have within
At other times it came in
the form of peaceful legislation wherein wrongs were righted, and the rule of law has as it has in the past prevailed as opposed
to tyrannical edicts sent from rulers of nations that have never tasted freedom. We have as a nation been able to protest
decisions, change things through the power of the ballot box and made this nation the best place on God’s green earth
One the first errors we, as a young
nation, had made was the turning away of Black Americans to the cause of liberty in the Revolution itself.During the opening phases
of the Revolution, the ranks of the Continental Army had in fact had many black volunteers. This was certainly a boon for
the young army for it added additional men to the cause of fighting for freedom. However, southern representatives being short
sighted at the time feared the arming of slaves apparently more than they feared the British and as a resultBlack-Americans were excluded and banned from joining. A terrible shame indeed for it would have definitely
swelled the ranks of the Continental Army as blacks young, middle-aged, and old would have enlisted and fought no only for
a guarantee of liberty for the young nation but for their own as well, and perhaps
would have brought the war to a swifter conclusion. Had this course of action been acceptable, the American Civil War that
followed some later may never had happened.Of course this is all hindsight and what happened is in the past.
In a little twist of irony
the British knowing this took advantage of this fact and offered to blacks, freedom if they would abandon the American cause
and serve with the British Army.It is a sad note that the British (even if the
purpose was perhaps a self-serving one) offered to blacks the very freedom that the Americans were seeking for themselves;
the right to determine their own lives.
Thomas Jefferson, the author
of the Declaration of Independence, no doubt wrestled with this concept of liberty for ALL men himself.Being the owner of some two hundred slaves, it is a marvel to me how he could write as he did. Recently
I viewed show wherein it was said that he made many drafts of the now world famous document which did indeed include ALL,
but again there were many dissenting voices.
The Westward Expansion
As the nation grew we encountered
time and again the Native American Indian and clashed with them many times. Some folks today would suggest that this was intentional
genocide but I would say that it was a clash of cultures one modern the other not.Was
it a dark episode in US History? No doubt it was. America
could have certainly done a better job of handling it.In the end though we have
tried again to correct the wrongs done to people that had no voice in our government.
Still the nation grew until
it was coast to coast and that brings us to:
The Here and Now
And so here we sit today.
I would suggest to ALL Americans that as you reflect on this day that we take one moment to thank Providence for all the blessing
that HE has seen fit to set before us. Again, we are not a perfect nation. There are of course many things that need to be
addressed.But we are also a nation of laws and as such pass these blessings
onto our children time and again through the process of free elections. The handing of power to those that come behind us
will hopefully continue, and as such go forward to make this nation what it is; a shinning beacon of light on the hill.
However, what distress me
the most is that this wonderful anniversary has become all too often an occasion to just party and shoot off fireworks.For others it is a reason to get away from the humdrum life of every day living. There
seems to be little care for the actual reason as it is just to have a good time, it being just a good excuse to let off steam.To these I suggest that while I do not oppose the festive mood at all and in fact
enjoy it myself, perhaps a reading of the Declarations opening lines before the paryt, or perhaps the Pledge of Allegiance
to begin things, or maybe a moment of prayer to open the festivities of this day.(For
you ALCU types it could be silent prayer if you choose).
Whatever one may select let
it be with a clear mind and understanding of what this day means not only to Americans but what it represents to others in
the world that still continue to flock to the shores of this nation.
 This error was again committed by the Northern Army whose Generals doubted
the ability of Free Blacks to fight for a cause that directly affected them. In the end the US Army accepted this change and
although the units WERE indeed segregated, they did come into existence. There are now volumes of works written on the black
units that served with distinction up to and including WW11