July 4, 2018
Can I celebrate this day the way I have past Independence Days: without thought, concern, doubt, fear, disgust, or alarm?
The question plagues me as I watch the sun rise on this two hundred and forty-second birthday of the United States of America. On this day more than two centuries ago a group of men signed a paper declaring America would no longer be ruled by another nation. Our country would be independent of and from outside dominance. Henceforth we would determine our own fate, decide how we would be governed, guided by a Constitution that promised equality.
Not a perfect document, but one filled with hope, determination, and belief that individual voices can better chart the future of this new democracy, not one person.
So I wonder if we, the people of this fragile yet strong, and relatively new nation, can weather the storm of today’s internal strife.
I don’t have a crystal ball showing what the USA will look like in 20 or 40 or 100 years, but I know the decisions we make today will color, determine, shade and dictate what our grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and great-great-grandchildren will see when they are our age.
Will they see a nation that offers safety to the homeless?
Will they have the right to raise their arms and voices in protest without government retaliation?
Will women have control of their bodies?
Will children be assured of safety and care?
Will minorities be treated equally?
Will the earth be abundant and fertile, free of toxins spewing and scorching its inhabitants?
Will a middle class exist?
Will this span of land be filled with haves and have-nots?
Will the nation be a leader?
Will it be an entity beating its chest, taking advantage of whoever and whatever it can?
Will they be a people of peace?
Will they be a people of abuse?
Will they love who they don’t know?
Will they fear who they don’t know?
Will they be open to the oppressed?
Will they be exclusive and prejudiced?
Will white men continue to dictate the rules of society?
Will women’s voices be heard, respected, heeded?
Will the United States be united by force, isolated and alone?
Will the people rule and govern?
Will more estrogen rule or more testosterone?
Will future generations know freedom as we do today?
I wonder and worry.
If we don’t speak out will future generations be allowed to do so?
I don’t know, the people will decide.