Today is the 4th of July, a really big day in America’s history. It’s the day marking our independence from Britain thanks to the valor of many in a wretched seven year war. I have to say I am involuntarily patriotic and what I mean by that is, whether I like it or not, love of country resides in my bones.
Who else would have the Star Spangled Banner on her iPod?
I am greatly stirred by anything pertaining to my country (including jury duty that I try in any way shape or form to get out of making me not patriotically perfect by a long shot).
My favorite West Wing episode is one from the first season called ‘In Excelsis Deo’ when a Korean war vet is found dead with the White House Communication Director’s business card in his pocket from a coat he gave to the Good Will. The character, Toby Zigler, is so shaken by the man’s irrelevant treatment by the D.C. police he gets the guy a 4 star funeral at Arlington. It’s one of the most moving bits of film I have ever had the privilege to view.
Ken Burns comes to mind, one of our greatest educators. He has taught me more in his films than anyone I’ve read or listened to.
I know how blessed I am to live in ‘the land of the free and the home of the brave.’ I’m using these familiar idioms because they don’t mince words; instead they halt you right where you stand.
‘God Bless America, land that I love, stand beside her and guide her. Through the night with a light from above…’
‘My country’ tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing; land where my fathers died…’
It reminds me of brotherhood, patriotism, love of the land we as Americans, through grace, have nobly inherited:
“We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave to every living heart and hearthstone all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.”
Happy 4th everyone…