My Country…Sweet Land of Liberty…

Words from a song I learned as a child…A song I have sung more times in my life than I could ever count. It comes to mind this morning, July 4, 2018, as I sit in my rocker sipping coffee. I’m thinking about my family’s history here, which began with my grandparents. I’m thinking about my country’s history, which began when people wanting the freedom to be who they were sailed into the unknown and found her shores. Did you know my ancestors from northern Spain were master ship builders? Basque craftsmen designed and built the Nina, the Pinta, the Santa Maria.

Now my mind wanders forward to those new Americans who fought England for their right to rule themselves. Later they fought each other over whether to be united or separate. We still honor those early Americans when we visit the battlefields and museums that remind us of our own history. Our history matters and it deserves our respect now more than ever.

I need to remember this morning that Americans have never agreed about everything. We have, however, found ways to work together and move forward in spite of our differences and disagreements. AND THIS IS IMPORTANT:

It seems to me that our forward movement has usually been about allowing more people the freedom to be who they are. 

We have stumbled in this process and made unfair decisions along the way. Can anyone overlook our treatment of Native Americans, survivors of slavery and their descendants, Japanese American citizens….the list goes on does it not? And, yes, it takes too long. Many still fight for truly equal rights like Black Americans, women, same-sex couples, and more.

We are not a perfect nation but we are a nation that does not give up. We fight for human rights – not just our own as individuals – but even the rights of those we don’t really understand or relate to easily. I still shake my head when a news report reminds me that the KKK still exists-what?

So, dear hearts, we aren’t going to agree on everything but we all have the right to be heard. Is your voice being heard? Are you speaking out intelligently and without defaming others? Are you calling your reps in state and national offices? Are you voting? Are you?

God bless us all and may we be free to be.

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