I hope everyone is having a great holiday weekend. It’s rained here all weekend, so the headaches have been abundant, but luckily my meds have helped tremendously with that and have been able to enjoy most of my weekend. :)
This morning I read an email from one of my Cotillion sisters linking to an article by Dennis Prager outlining a ceremony suggestion for honoring the holiday. He’s succinctly summed up several key points about our Independence Day that I think a lot of people have forgotten, and I’d like to share them here.
Today, we take a few minutes to remember what the Fourth of July is about and to remind ourselves how fortunate we are to be Americans. Before America was a nation, it was a dream — a dream shared by many people, from many nations, over many generations.
It began with the Pilgrims in 1620, who fled Europe so that they could be free to practice their religion. It continued through the 17th century, as more and more people arrived in a place that came to be known as the New World. In this new world, where you were from didn’t matter; what mattered was where you were headed.
As more and more people settled, they started to see themselves as new people — Americans. They felt blessed: The land was spacious. The opportunities limitless. By 1776, a century and a half after the first Pilgrims landed, this new liberty-loving people was ready to create a new nation.
And on July 4 of that year, they did just that. They pronounced themselves to be free of the rule of the English king. We know this statement as the Declaration of Independence.
Three ideas summarize what America is all about. They are engraved on every American coin. They are “Liberty,” “In God We Trust” and “E Pluribus Unum.”
“Liberty” means that we are free to pursue our dreams and to go as far in life as hard work and good luck will take us.
“In God We Trust” means that America was founded on the belief that our rights and liberties have been granted to us by the Creator. Therefore they cannot be taken away by people.
“E Pluribus Unum” is a Latin phrase meaning “From Many, One.” Unlike other countries, America is composed of people of every religious, racial, ethnic, cultural and national origin — and regards every one of them as equally American. Therefore, “out of many (people we become) one” — Americans.
As we gather with friends and loved ones enjoying the festivities, let us also remember this holiday’s origin and meaning.