July 4, 2012
White Dog silenced the rest of the White Dog Army as we prepared to read the Declaration of Independence over breakfast. It is a tradition in our family to do this every year, all gathered together, to hear these incredible words that defined a new way for people to chose to be governed. This proclamation and the eloquence of the message marked the beginning of a bold step never before experienced in the World. With these words, our new country set a standard that has never yet been met...and defined responsibilities no citizenry ever before willingly shouldered.
The WDA questioned after the reading if the United States could ever truly be free as long as there was homelessness, (like the woman we saw sleeping under the evergreens at the Park), or hunger (like the pregnant cat rooting through the dumpster in the alley), or intolerance (like Michael experiences frequently because he is different). So many of the complaints listed in our original Declaration seem to haunt us today.
Granted, Steve told them, the country is not perfect and we have many problems still to overcome. It seems like our nation has lost direction and respect for the very words that made us what we are. And, no, truly none of us is free until the least of us shares that same access to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
But, I continued, that is the shining bright golden thing about this land. We have HOPE. And the ability as a people to unite and join together and effect change. Our Constitution gives us that power. More than the President; more than Congress; more than all of the Courts in the country...the PEOPLE determine whether the Founding Fathers' faith was well placed or a foolishness...the PEOPLE make the United States a glorious example of all that is good about humanity or an example of arrogance and greed that the rest of the World despises.
Steve, I and the WDA believe that hope...and the voice of the people...CAN put us back on track. It is time to return to the words that started the amazing journey that is the history of the United States and start a new revolution.
Something to think about on this Independence Day. Celebrate our bounty and freedom, oft hard won but beyond doubt a treasure worth the sacrifices.