If we are going to start, we should cover the definition of the word. Independence basically means to be free from any other control. You stand on your own two feet. This is also tightly connected with Freedom and Liberty. Both meaning not serving others or being used for forced labor.
Abraham Lincoln, The Gettysburg Address, 1863: "Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal."
Abraham Lincoln was quite an amazing man. He stated that we became a free nation because we no longer wanted to be in control of the church and state in Britain. We wanted our own freedom to believe our own beliefs and to live the life we deem best. There was also escaping the monarchy that was in control of the land we came from. We didn't want others ruling us, but for us to rule ourselves. Having a strong religious control as the government was definitely not to our liking.
Today is July 4th. America's Independence day where we fought to be free. My heart breaks that many today overlook the sacrifices it took to get to this point. We have lived so luxuriously from human and technological advancement that we have forgotten how we got here! Days that should be revered and remembered are just being looked at as a 'holiday' or a 'long weekend' to just party. We start to lose our grip on our reality and truth as new narratives start to seep in.
Thomas Paine: "Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom, must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it."
Elmer Davis: "This nation will remain the land of the free only so long as it is the home of the brave."
Lee Greenwood: "And I'm proud to be an American, where at least I know I'm free. And I won't forget the men who died, who gave that right to me."
Joseph Addison: "Let freedom never perish in your hands."
George Santayana: "A man's feet must be planted in his country, but his eyes should survey the world."
As someone who HAS traveled to many different countries, a few third world countries, Americans have not experienced hardships that are still present today. Your ethnocentrism starts breaking down the more you spend time in other countries and interacting with the locals there. People crying out about 'racism' and the 'slavery' of certain races ignore the ACTUAL issues people struggle with on a daily basis in other countries. Yet they have no actual anger towards the issue, just that they hate America.
Adlai Stevenson: "America is much more than a geographical fact. It is a political and moral fact—the first community in which men set out in principle to institutionalize freedom, responsible government, and human equality."
Many are still yearning for the freedoms our country holds thanks to our Constitution. We began the true fight to support human rights across the world and are still pushing for it today. I saw people in China, Mexico, Ecuador, and even Canada not being able to exercise freedoms that we take for granted daily. I have read from personal accounts of those living in other countries that they wish they could live in America because we were able to do or say certain things (that weren't even bad!).
Bill Vaughan: "A real patriot is the fellow who gets a parking ticket and rejoices that the system works."
This quote is ironic because of what happened to us in 2020 and 2021, I am more supporting this statement now. Why? Because justice, pure untainted justice, should be served to those who have done wrong and have broken the law. A true patriot would also understand that he had made a mistake and takes up responsibility for such an act. This is to support that if the system works for something as small as this, that it should work properly when something greater happens (such as a murderer or rapist being brought to justice). It's funny that I support this quote more only because of our own dealings with the court system last year. We had our possessions stolen from us (recorded), and attacked by a mob of over 100 people (also recorded). But though the police and investigators had found plenty of evidence from body cam footage, our footage, and recordings from those present at the event, the perpetrators were let go with a slap on the wrist by the judge. These are also people who already held felonies from multiple other states. Luckily we only had our items stolen and not killed, but the system proved that it has failed its citizens. Even the cops and DA from that incident were upset about how it was handled. If I had actually done something wrong, then yes, I will take responsibility for my mistakes. But to allow the attackers free with basically no repercussions? A frightening peak into who might be in control of our courts,
As an independent nation, we are to stand on our own and take care of our problems. We create a beacon of the proper way to support freedoms while enforcing many human rights that come with it. If you look through history, there actually have been many nations using America as an example to strive for. And many have made leaps and bounds of success because of this. Take India who is starting to have more of a capitalist economy and the quality of life for the people has soared.
I do hope that we are able to keep our torch held high, helping others see and recognize freedom and independence. To improve the lives of everyone who resides on this planet.