It gets me thinking, though. There was a time I was a pretty serious flag-waver. Big into the pins and buttons and flags and other geegaws that publicly displayed my patriotism. But of course in recent years I don't feel that way much anymore. It seems like wearing the pin on my lapel has become as meaningless as those twisted ribbons (in whatever color) have become, since they lost their original meaning. Who still wears one and remembers what it means, and what it stands for? They've become laughable, used as jokes in so many colors who knows what they stand for anymore?
I see people who have become "patriots" since 9/11/2001, getting their flags out of whatever boxes they had them buried in, or rushing to Wal-Mart to hastily get one off the shelves, and then they fly it, night and day, rain or shine, until it's tattered and faded - no idea of the proper care of a flag, that it should be furled during storms and put away at night (or have a spotlight on it at all times). And yes, when it's all tattered and faded, it should be burned properly, usually by the Boy Scouts or the American Legion (who will shortly all be felons every time they dispose of an old flag).
Anyway, these days I don't grand-old-flag it as much as I used to. I very often find myself ashamed of my country. I love her, but she's been stumbling a lot lately, and I can't bring myself to react with anything less than shame. Coverups, lies, willful ignorance - allowing all the things that this country was supposed to stand against and making excuses for all of it, or simply ignoring it. I keep waiting for something to to snap it back, to wake up the American people, but no matter what happens, everything shifts right back to where it was. Disapproval ratings are one thing; but it hasn't been enough for even a censure of this government, let alone anything serious.
This Independence Day I want to remember exactly why this country exists. The freedoms and civil liberties that our fathers and grandfathers fought for - not "preemptive wars" started on foreign soil against a contained enemy which was no threat to us, not forgetting those who actually attacked us on our soil (oh yes, they're forgetting) - those freedoms that Americans are willingly parting with to be kept "safe." Apparently kept "safe" by a government who is taking away our liberty AND making us more and more unsafe every day.
Benjamin Franklin said, They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.
But that aside, I hope everyone has a good day, and thinks for a bit about what it means. Unlike the folks Jay Leno talks to on the street, I think I like the LJ community because I'm pretty sure most everyone out there already knows. (At least, the Stateside dwellers.)
Tonight I'm not going to see a fireworks show - instead I'm going to the big Jesse Dayton Honky-Tonk and Hot Rod Show over at the Rhythm Room. I solemnly swear I will not be drinking - after all, I have to work tomorrow. *g* I wanted to go anyway, but I was asked to review it, as well, so that gives an extra reason for heading over.
I'd like to thank the gals at tennantlove for all the icons I've snagged. This one was done by martoufmarty, who has many more nifty ones. I love animated icons! I need to figure out how to do them myself.