Today it is July 4th, 2009 and I’m watching the celebrations in Nashville, New York, Boston and other cities and towns. As I watch and listen to the music, the fireworks and the people I find myself swelling up from inside with a reassurance that despite all of our nation’s problems, challenges, and adversity we are still the greatest nation.
In a year wrought with so many challenges, “greatness” was the one of the farthest things from my mind on July 3rd. But what makes us great?
In a word…Freedom.
People gathered together today all across the land in celebration despite what we see and hear in the news. In cities there was music, fun and fireworks. In parks there were picnics, events, games and song. In the neighborhoods, hills and valley there was food, friends, family and fellowship. At night we were awed by fireworks and inspired with patriotic music. In light of recent events… one can ask rhetorically did we gather together because we were told or made to?
On the airwaves we hear about rifts between liberals and conservatives, republicans and democrats, media and mainstream, and the list goes on…but today there were no divisions, no left or right, just Americans. We were sitting together, eating together, and enjoying life together. We sang “God bless America”, and we were not apologizing for it or doubting what the lyrics meant.
Our military was called out en force but instead of holding automatic weapons, they were handling hot dogs, cookies and small American flags. Instead of people running from them in fear, they were coming to them in gratitude.
Today, while our nation is threatened by regimes who rather believe in lies, we revere in the greatness of truth, honor, sacrifice and strength. Although we do disagree in politics and policy we come together in the face of any foe, in any tragedy, or in any need. We rush to help those who we do not know, who cannot help themselves, nor do we even expect to be thanked by.
So it is these things and others like them are which make us great: Our love of humanity, of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. I remember watching Mohammed Ali say “I am the greatest”; astonishingly he was. I think he still is, but not necessarily because of his fighting talents. His character makes him truly the greatest and so it is with Americans.
www.nashvillewraps.com) was closed on Friday so our employees could enjoy a long holiday weekend with their families and friends. It is interesting even for me to realize just how quickly we as Americans will unite and rise to any challenge.
I hope you share you comments on what you think makes this country the greatest..