July 4th, 2013. The United States is 236 years old today (and quite the young lady, huh?). So, fire up your grills, pop open a frosty one, call your family and friends, and heck, go watch some fireworks, because that's what we do on the Fourth of July, right?
Well...not exactly. Remember the reason we are a country in the first place; we faced oppression from an unruly government. The original 13 colonies and its people felt they were underrepresented in the British governement while being overtaxed. Remember the key words in the Declaration of Independence: "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." Remember that the United States stands as a symbol of freedom and prosperity, and that there are many men and women in service fighting battles out there, following their belief in protecting this nation. Remember the various cultures that compose this country, the many religions people are free to believe in, the promise of a good life people from other nations come to believe of this nation. Remember what the United States represents...and ensure that your freedoms and beliefs do not harm others. For a freedom of one at the cost of another...is not a freedom at all.
Now, go out and celebrate this country's growing pains and gains. Me? Well, I'll probably lounge at home and watch some movies or play video games, or go out on the ol' Harley for a freedom ride, or just go to a local park and watch the fireworks show. All I know is that I appreciate living in this country, faults and all, and hope her prosperity continues to grow.