Another Independence Day/Fourth of July come and gone. I thanked our Founding Fathers as always and with deep gratitude. But, this time, a post on Facebook left me pondering who we are really thanking – and for what….
What exactly are we thankful for on the Fourth of July? I ponder this after seeing the following post on Facebook: (it said: If you can read this, thank a veteran)
What exactly does this mean? If you can’t read, you can’t thank a soldier? If you live in a country where you haven’t had the chance to go to school and learn to read, you can’t thank a soldier?
I worry the meaning is much more biased: The assumption seems to be if you don’t read the dominant language of the USA (English), you must live in a country where English (the only good language) is not read. In other words, only English-reading folks are good enough and they all live in the US.
Am I over-reacting? Children all over the world learn to read – from schools or from their parents and other relatives – it doesn’t matter if they live in freedom or not. I don’t see it having anything to do with veterans.
In fact, Independence Day is not about veterans. It’s about our Founding Fathers – I guess you could call many of them veterans, but what we celebrate on the Fourth of July is the long, hard work they did to get diverse colonies to come together and declare independence from a common enemy. It’s not about the war they fought – that came AFTER Independence Day.
On my recent trip to Washington DC, I visited the National Archives - and pondered the signatures on the Bill of Rights, the Constitution, and the Declaration of Independence. It must have been an almost overwhelming job to come together and forge a new future for the country we call America – the United States of America.
So remember to thank our Founding Fathers on Independence Day, Veterans on Veterans’ Day, and deceased Veterans on Memorial Day.
Heck – thank those vets every day for all their sacrifices! I know I thank all veterans of all wars for taking time out of their personal lives to work, and often fight, on behalf of the rest of us. I am also thankful to the military who serve during peace times. They also commit to service the rest of us do not.
Just don’t equate reading with wars and fighting – it’s not the same thing.