Is There Anything to Celebrate on the Fourth?

Is There Anything to Celebrate on the Fourth?

“Almost everyone agreed that Fourth of July was not what it used to be.”

The cloudy day set the mood for the Fourth of July barbeque. It was a family get-together but there was not much family to get together. Several members were too far away to come; others were on cruises. There were a few absent because they were no longer family since some marriages had turned ugly.

But the barbecue was lively as people gathered around the picnic tables eating plenty of ribs, potato salad, corn-on-the-cob and fixings. Not everything was homemade, much less homegrown — there was simply no time for that. As the night progressed, a discussion arose. Almost everyone agreed that Fourth of July was not what it used to be.

It used to be so happy. Everyone could remember the times when they would get together and there would be plenty of food, conversation, outdoor games and fireworks. It was a real celebration. Now everyone seemed to be complaining about everything.

“The problem is big government!”one exclaimed.“We need to just get rid of big government and that will solve everything.”

“It’s taxes! That’s what’s killing us. We need to cut taxes across the board. I can’t make my new car payments, student loans or pay my mortgage.”

“I can’t make it anymore on my Social Security,” an older baby boomer chimed in. “It’s not right.”

And so each had their own grievances, some complaining about too much government and others claiming not enough benefits.

At the end, someone made the comment that, with this government, there really wasn’t that much to celebrate this Fourth of July.

With that, there was a lull in the conversation that left everyone uneasy. Some took advantage of the awkward interval to check their emails on their iPhones or make small talk. And as the talk died down, the grandfather unexpectedly spoke up.

He was now a frail old man, a World War II veteran who had known hard times and good times; economic depression and happy days. He had difficulty getting around and spent a lot of his days thinking and praying.

Now he stood before them with an air of dignity saying: “Yes, government has changed. But you know something, we’ve changed, too.

“When I was growing up, families looked after their own members. We didn’t need or want handouts. We managed, even if we didn’t have the latest gadgets or the best car. When there were problems, everyone pitched in. Times were hard, but we were happier.

“Today, it’s all about money. Back then, money didn’t rule everything. People had honor. They were faithful to their spouses and family. People weren’t afraid to be leaders and accept responsibility.

“We knew the difference between our government and our country. Politicians are one thing and America is another. Today, people treat our country like a corporation where they expect only dividends. When the going gets tough, everyone abandons her and sells off their shares. That’s not right.

“No, America should be more like a family. When the family’s in trouble, everyone pitches in. I pitched in. I served my country because America is my country and I love her. Many of my buddies served too … and some didn’t return.”

A silence hung over the area as darkness was falling and lightning bugs were starting to appear.

The old man still continued: “I’m sorry for rambling on but I’ve been thinking a lot about this lately. We need to turn to God again. We used to say ‘give us this day our daily bread’ now everyone turns to the government – they don’t even know how to ask God for things – or what to ask for.

“We complain about government but we’ve become just like the government we criticize. We’ve got the government we deserve. We should get our own ships in shape. We need to return to order.”

The silence was now complete and everyone became pensive. The old man settled down in his lawn chair still apologizing for rambling on. Everyone in their heart knew that he was right.

Subscription8.11At that moment, a rocket soared into the night and burst in air and the darkness was lit by a marvelous display of light and a mighty boom. There was something grand about the way the fireworks exploded that stirred the hearts of those who watched and filled them with awe and pride. At least for an instant, they forgot about their own problems, and celebrated that special something called America.




  • Linda


  • Catholiceducator

    Very well said!

  • Michael Skok

    How are you going to take care of yourself when businesses send jobs overseas to China? Unless you’re buying food, you can’t find anything that’s made in the USA. Everything is made in China or some other Asian country. Then we borrow money from China to pay are debts. Our national debt is over 17 trillion dollars. Our children and grandchildren will be spend their entire lives paying for the national debt. What’s to celebrate about that?

    • Pamela Marie Anderson

      You can make a difference by believing in the values of our Founding Fathers and getting involved in government to make a change! We cannot expect a change if we stand back and do nothing.
      Believe in America. Do what is right. Teach your children the truth about America and why we should be proud and thankful. Help stop the agenda to destroy our Life, Liberty, and Happiness!

      • Greg Groebner

        And what are those “values of our Founding Fathers”? What does “believe in America” mean? What is “the truth about America”? It all sounds kind of dogmatic, but I don’t understand what dogma or dogmas you would consider to be at the base of it.

        If the assertion is that America has some particular ethos built upon “liberty” that is distinct and better than the foundations of the societies of old Christendom, then I await what contortions you may provide to reconcile contemporary reality with that founding principle.

        • Pamela Marie Anderson

          There are many people who no longer have a belief in God. I used historical references about America to share my patriotic beliefs. We have been blessed by Our Creator and we are blessed to live in America. It is the best place in the world to live (formerly with TWA)…Let us hope and pray America will survive this era. Currently, I am studying the Constitution so I can be more knowledgeable about our form of government.

      • Greg Groebner

        To clarify: I do think America has a particular genius and vocation, and would agree that a pragmatic kind of liberty has worked tolerably well here; but this concept of liberty as a universal ideal is a bunch of nonsense. It was only workable because there was room to expand, the settlers and immigrants were of a similar cultural background, and everyone largely agreed to play the game of “let’s get along”.

        • Kevin Edwards

          You reiterate here a genial concept in the book: we were kind of like a coop nation, where “we got along” just so everyone could have the liberty to pursue his own self interested goals. But that soon turned into the burning desire to gratify disordered passion and the throwing off of restraint. That can only last so long, as the since community and honor has been sacrificed.

          • Greg Groebner

            I do have the book; pre-ordered three copies in fact. But very disappointed in it. Obviously, a great deal of effort went into forming it and promoting it; but, to me, it is like analyzing the mote and ignoring the beam. The book has value in what it does do, but I can think of only one among my acquaintances to whom I would give it where it would be worth their time in reading it. Sorry to say this.

            I’ll try to make this a constructive critique, rather than talking about my disappointment in it.

            The phrase “frenetic intemperance” is catchy, but it is a mote. It is not the largest problem. It is a portion of the problem, but maybe 20%. In this case, it probably is possible to actually quantify the portion. But to do so, a better analysis is necessary. For instance, I cannot see that the too-big-to-fail bailouts have the same source as this “frenetic intemperance” pounded on in the book as the problem amongst the American and largely Christian population. Yes, the bankers may be frenetically intemperate, but this is not from a corruption of Christian and American culture, but stems from a culture that never was Christian, and only partially American. The evidence of this is in the news everyday, and investigation of the names and persons involved is an easy thing now that there is an Internet. I am not referring here to hidden conspiracies, but to biographical data now easily accessible by the public.

  • Greg Groebner

    It’s a nice article, but grandpa as well as the ignoble complainers were all obsessed with “America” as the corporate political entity of “USA”. “I love the rocks and rills”, but the Masonic and now Judaic-dominated national government 2.0 not so much.

  • Frances

    Much needed words to love by!

  • Frances

    Sorry, that was supposed to read: Much needed words to live by!

  • Annabelle Arceo Almado

    Very well thought out……wisdom from the elders who sacrificed for their lives to made this nation great………