In America we celebrate the 4th of July as Independence Day.
Flags, Patriotic music, Parades, Fireworks and summer festivals highlight the day.
As I watched the fireworks on my street, I heard the echoes of the National Anthem in my mind. .
."o'er the ramparts we watched ...and the rockets
... the bombs bursting .... gave proof thru the night that our flag was still there..."
The galaxy has our best fireworks
and I wept for our military still at work in faraway places doing exactly that
while we applauded colorful displays at home.
Later I watched parts of two programs on television which gave renewed perspective on our nation's Independence: The Howards of Virginia and 1776.
The freedom which our founders sought was not achieved by peaceful means.
The grandiose promises and dreams expressed at Independence Hall in Philadelphia certainly gave us some lofty goals and eloquent aspirations.
Yet, a close look at the history of that time reveals much struggle. Even among the most peaceful people. (I am thinking of John and Abigail Adams)
Peace is not easy. It is rarely demonstrated in the everyday world.
Peacemakers are called to remember the reasons for peace,
the alternatives for peace. And the consequences of continued strife.
Perhaps in 200 years plus, Americans can
become more peaceful people if we work on it.
"Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God"
Matthew 5: 9