On July 4th, 1976 I drove from San Diego to Los Angeles in my 1958 Volkswagen bus. As I drove top speed (45 MPH) past The Marine Corps base at Camp Pendleton, they had a large commemoration marking America’s 200th year of freedom, as granted by the Constitution of The United States. Mind you, there were only 13 colonies in 1776, not 50 states, but still, I began wondering what life would have been like under British, or anyone else’s rule.
You see, with the exception of the one-year of my life that was spent in Vietnam, all that I’ve ever known is freedom as granted by our American Constitution. That year taught me two distinct things; first and foremost, freedom should be considered absolutely precious and second, few Americans respect the freedoms that our forefathers handed us that day in July of 1776. If we did, the childish bickering that we call “politics” today would cease forever and we would openly welcome our friends and their opinions.
The replicated “bombs bursting in air” (fireworks) will welcome our 243rd year of authentic American freedom a few days from now. As you join others in this celebration, please pause for a moment and respect what our freedoms really mean. In addition to our forefathers’ documents detailing these freedoms, know that freedom hasn’t really been free at all for you and me. Millions of unsung heroes have fought and died to protect this 243-year-old document that is being challenged by so many today. I believe that there are very few of we Americans who fought in a war on foreign soil that would agree with the many disappointed citizens or politicians who push to erode or negate our constitutional freedoms.
But then again, there is likely not one of us who would step forward to cover their mouths as they degrade or dishonor the articles set forth in this wonderful American document we call The Constitution. The preservation of your freedom to state your frustration openly is the very reason that any one of us would have taken a bullet for you.
We hear you and have protected you. Now, hear us.