Friday, July 3, 2015

Three days in July, three thoughts .... No. 3

What it all means ... or should mean: There are many things I would like to write here, but they would not all fit in a reasonable amount of space and I probably would drift off into other thoughts before I finish. But, I must start somewhere .... the event in the photograph, at times, is used for political or worse purposes. That has happened just within the past few days. The event in the photograph is sacred to many of us and should not be used for commercial or crass purposes because countless individuals have died defending the American flag and the rights and the freedoms it represents. The photograph, you probably recognize, comes from the World War II battle at Iwo Jima. Nearly seven thousand American marines and sailors died there and another twenty thousand were wounded. Many, many more Japanese soldiers died fighting under their own banner. Six men are in the photograph; three of them were killed within days of this flag raising moment atop Mount Suribachi. It should not be difficult to comprehend the significance of the event and of the instant in time the photograph depicts -- the instant all six still were alive and looked forward to life and living, but were willing to fight and to give up their lives in defense of liberty for all.

A few living & breathing words from long ago

Tomorrow is the Fourth of July -- Independence Day -- the day the Declaration of Independence was signed and published. It happened in 1776, when a small group of men announced to the world that thirteen American colonies no longer would live under tyranny and would be free of rule from Great Britain.

The words in the declaration, written by Thomas Jefferson, are sacred, too, just like the event in the photograph. If you do not believe that, it is your loss. A segment of the declaration is printed here. Read those words, think about them, try to actually absorb their meaning and their significance.

Civilizations come and go, just as we individuals come and go. The words in the declaration may or may not last forever, but, for now, they are the words which allow each and every one of us who lives in the United States of America to begin our journey doing what we do, being who we are, dreaming what we dream.

Those who desecrate either the flag or the words are free to do so, but in doing so they desecrate themselves and memory of those who died for the freedoms we and they enjoy .... and, unfortunately, too many in this county today either do not understand that fact or do not care.

I hope you have a pleasant Independence Day, and remember and appreciate how it began, why it began and the price so many have paid since it began so that you are living free today and in pursuit of your own concept of happiness.

Now, here are some of the words from the Declaration of Independence as published that first Independence Day on July 4, 1776. You might wish to read the complete document when you have finished this segment:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness; that, to secure these rights, governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed; that whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles, and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object, evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security ....

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