Monday, July 03, 2006

Happy Birthday, America!

Today marks the official 230th birthday of the United States.

I am old enough to remember its 200th, being 10 years old in 1976 during the Bicentennial. It was a year full of fireworks, US history, and a sense of renewed hope and faith in America: the Viet Nam conflict was finally over, a Democrat had swept into the White House, and I had my first experience visiting Washington, DC - a city in which I would unknowingly live 20 years into the future.

And now, 30 years later, I am in a new city, but still with the faith that America will once again be the country that does the right thing for its people. Two hundred and thirty years ago, Thomas Jefferson summarized the philosophy of individual liberty into "self-evident truths" and set forth a list of grievances against the King in order to justify before the world the breaking of ties between the colonies and the British crown.

"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."

Today, the man who leads the government of our country has shown time and time again that he does not believe in these words - these words that hundreds of millions of men have believed in, and hundreds of thousands of men have given their lives to enforce on battlefields. And along with this one man is his support team, who have habitually spit in the eye of Thomas Jefferson, and the amazing group of men who had the true guts to stand up and say, "We're mad as hell and we're not going to take it anymore".