Someone was asked, "What's the other name for the Fourth of July?' The answer was and is "Independence Day," meaning first and foremost that the forefather declared that they were going to be independent of another country's rules and laws. It's also equaled with freedom. Here I wonder what we mean. Free to do whatever we darn well please? Free from oppression of another? Free to seek and find happiness and justice equally with others?
It is clear that we are not all free to choose our religion without criticism, or to celebrate our skin color, heritage or language, or to experience health and safety equally, or to find peace in our leadership. A negative as this may sound, this experiment called democracy is still one of the best adventures mankind and womankind has embarked on.
On this day we stand together, we sing songs about our country, we gather to do what we consider American like hotdogs and watch parades. We explode with joy in fireworks, we melt with tears in sentimentality, we for one day become one family.
I have a dream: that we remain one; not the same, but one. That even if we don't agree with our neighbor we support their right to disagree. I have a dream, that in our differences and diversity we find our strength in kindness, generosity and caring for others. We have thrown the word "love" around so much that we're not certain what it means, but perhaps if we just focus on unconditionally caring for others, we might get fairly close to genuine spirit of charity.
May I now again pledge my allegiance to this country and right for all here and abroad to be free to love and laugh.
With a lump in my throat and a tear in my eye, I say good night and God bless America, my home sweet home.