Monday, May 19, 2014

Have Americans forgotten why we light up the skies?

In the first 150 years or so after America's birth, July 4th was a holiday not just for celebrating our heritage but for remembering it as well.  Older generations of Americans were deeply concerned that young people would not appreciate all that had gone into building this nation.    

That is why in between parades, picnics, and fireworks, 18th and 19th Century Americans also gave long, passionate speeches about the war, made remembrance toasts to war heroes, and sang patriotic hymns that told these stories as well.   July 4th was often referred to then as the "nation's political sabbath".  There was a sacred and pure quality to these celebrations that is absent in many corners of American culture today.   This video demonstrates this sad truth all too well.

In times of relative comfort and ease,  it is easy to slip into a state of apathy about our heritage.  But how much more meaningful would those parades, picnics, and firework shows be if we 
dusted off the pages of history to hear about the sweat, blood, and tears that led to this nation's birth? This year, learn the stories on Netflix, You Tube, or even the good old-fashioned library.  Then, share those stories with your family and make a commitment to NEVER forget.

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