Making Independence Day Celebrations More Personal!
By Colonel Robert E. Frank, USAF (Ret.), Henderson, NV/ColonelBobFrank@gmail.com
A similar article was also published on July 4th in the Nevada Veterans Reporter News.
On July 4th, I was reminded that Independence Day should be an occasion that all Americans, not just Veterans, should be able to celebrate in some form or other throughout the year. The challenge is how to give such occasions a personal touch for each family.
The 2nd paragraph words in our American Declaration of Independence tell us what our past generations created, and why each of us should remember and often celebrate that unique legacy in our daily lives:
“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."
To be sure, that truly historic statement contains a special meaning for veterans and their families. We Veterans and our extended families understand the costs of protecting such hard-won freedoms.
But, all Americans can have our own special ideas about how to keep our vision alive and personal. Regardless, it is our sacred, eternal duty to work to preserve the legacy that a very small group of founders and militia so selflessly, fearlessly and successfully won for us about 250 years ago from the tyranny of the world’s most powerful King.
Since military veterans and family members have received special training, had unique world experiences, and sometimes have paid the highest price with their lives for for our liberty, it is up to those of us still living to work to keep the meaning of our heritage alive and vibrant--throughout the year.
Unfortunately, many Americans do not know or fail to honor what it took to preserve these freedoms. They don’t stop to realize what it requires to be truly committed to faithfully preserve our unique “Constitutional Republic”. But, perhaps they could become more interested, if we Veterans and other patriots reach out to them.
For it is the special, practical touch that veterans can bring to celebrate our heritage that might make it personally meaningful and more interesting to others. We can each think of special ways to do this at home and in our communities. One way is by including some time this year during moments special to us and our families to discuss our personal histories and to openly renew our lifetime pledges to protect our nation from all enemies—foreign and domestic.
Veterans with foreign military experiences can even more effectively do this by helping others become more aware of the historical facts with personal examples. We can report on timely examples where our American Constitutional Republic and its unique style of personal freedom has worked far better than any other democratic, socialist, communist, theocratic or fascist government.
Here are a few words explaining why a “republic” is far superior, from a citizen’s perspective:
“The key difference between a democracy and a republic lies in the limits placed on government by the law, which has implications for minority rights… In a republic, a constitution or charter of rights protects certain inalienable rights that cannot be taken away by the government, even if it has been elected by a majority of voters.” (https://www.diffen.com/difference/Democracy_vs_Republic)
Another way to celebrate might be to sponsor a family game or contest on the history of “democracy” including facts about our “American republic”, our government institutions and special electoral system. Many middle school and high school students in families might enjoy knowing more from someone with real experience and who had been a part of the process. Some families might also enjoy discussing the special moral, religious and human principles behind our American laws and compassionate ways of life.
I know that many veterans, their families and friends enjoyed a joyous and memorable Independence Day. Since sharing history and related personal experiences is something that can be done anytime of the year, please be practical and creative, as were our Founding Fathers, about how you can help lead others in the future to find new and better ways to appreciate our unique American Independence and Constitutional Republic heritage![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]