Celebrating the Fourth of July

Normally, I’m always so excited for this holiday that celebrates the birth of our country. And I’ll be honest in saying a lot of that has to do with the fact that it’s my birthday, too, and, as a child, I always thought it was all about me. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know. Kinda self-centered, but don’t try to tell me you weren’t that way as a kid. We tend to be focused on ourselves until about age 10 or so when reality drops an anvil on our heads.

You mean the parade wasn’t for me?

Anyway, my usual patriotism that would have me singing “I’m a Yankee Doodle Dandy” all day long has waned. That’s due in part to the unusual times we’re living in with the current pandemic; exasperated by the state of our government and social systems that appear to be disintegrating before our eyes.

Still, I’ll do my best to pull together a few patriotic thoughts and actions. I’ll put out my 4th of July wreath that has a flag on it. I’ll think about a few of the proud moments in our history. Some are well known, but a few are not and are well worth bringing to light:

  • Hattie Wyatt Caraway of Arkansas is the first woman elected to the U.S. Senate – 1932
  • Andrew Carnegie (Of the Carnegie Library Program) gives away his fortune 1901
  • 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution gives women the right to vote – 1919
  • Explorer I, first American satellite, is launched – 1958
  • Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., delivers his ―I Have a Dream‖ speech before a crowd of 200,000 1963
  • The signing of the Civil Rights Act in 1964
  • The Americans With Disabilities Act is signed in 1990
  • The country pulls together after the 2001 terrorist attacks in New York, Washington, and Pennsylvania.
  • The first African American president is Elected – Barack Obama – 2008

Since we are a strong, resilient people, perhaps there are more really proud moments to come, and to give us some inspiration, I’m sharing a wonderful song by Stephen Sondheim. This is titled, “Flag Song.”

You can gripe
All you like,
You can sneer,
“Where are the heroes?”
You can shout about
How everything’s a lie.
Then that flag goes by…

There’s this thing you can’t deny,
This idea:
That it’s fixable tomorrow,
We’ve a chance,
There’s a choice.
We can change ourselves tomorrow,
We’re in charge,
We’ve a voice,
An idea about tomorrow
To remember
When the flag has gone by.

Brian Stokes Mitchell sings the entire song at the Kennedy Center. Give it a listen.

There’s been quite a flap this past week over To Wear a Mask or Not to Wear a Mask. Actually, it’s been going on for several weeks. It’s just intensified more recently with people yelling at each other about how the government doesn’t have the right to infringe on their freedoms. I heard one woman shout, “The government can’t tell me what to do about my own health.”

Well, right now it’s not so much about your health, lady. It’s about the health and safety of everyone around you.

To paraphrase what a FB friend posted:

The constitution allows for the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, but not at the expense of another citizen. It does not give us the right to selfishness.

On a lighter note, here’s a link to an older post where I shared some of my childhood fantasies about the whole USA celebrating me on my birthday.

Whatever you have planned for the Fourth of July, I do hope you are careful about gathering, wear a mask, and be safe.

In closing, I want to share this neat banner that was made at AllAuthor.com, an online professional organization for writers. One of the perks of belonging is getting these special banners. I like the way the colors in the cover of Stalking Season complement those in the flag. Stalking Season is the second book in the Seasons Mystery Series, and when it came out in hardcover, it received a starred review from Publishers Weekly: STARRED Publishers Weekly Review 9/21/12
” . . . gripping second mystery featuring DallasTex., police detectives Sarah Kingsly and Angel Johnson. . . . Therelationship between the women is just as absorbing as the search forthe killer. Few readers will anticipate the closing twist.”

If you live in the U.S., are you feeling patriotic? Is the impact of the pandemic, as well as the social unrest, dampening your spirits? Most importantly, do you wear a mask when you go out?

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