Speaking as one of the majority of citizens unable to recite verses of our nation's Declaration of Independence by memory, I may not be the best person to respond to Rich Moniak's July 10 article addressing the Fourth of July celebrations. But I'll take a shot at it because I have a somewhat different take on his prose.
I have never placed my freedoms in a time capsule. The founding fathers were forced to address a people's revolution and many resisted, at first, any break from the king's realm. Fortunately, the planets were aligned and a number of truly gifted orators, writers, statesmen and patriots heeded the call by financing the effort in talent, money and blood to its fruition.
But it was going to happen. France and England can attest to this. Freedom cannot and should never be restricted to the power of the pen, Wall Street or alliances. Government did not grant me my freedoms. It was charged with protecting them.
Nor have I ever placed my freedoms at the whim of any superior intelligence or power, aside from God. Granted, certain freedoms have been compromised, and I am deeply concerned with this. But unless I wish to leave my children's children with less than I received at birth, I am obligated to meet the challenge and hold responsible those who have waged war upon them. The alternative, of course, is to live under siege from those who would call them infidels and not worthy of life.
There always will be powerful and dangerous men wishing to limit my freedoms in the name of order, commerce, national defense or fanaticism. Their actions derive from narcissism, superior breeding, fear, ethnic conflict, ambition or financial gain and will meet resistance as long as there is breath within me.
Others try to sway the course of war by means of persuasion and protest in the name of mistake, economic health, world opinion or peace at any price. These considerations deserve the attention of any forensic skills at my disposal. Therefore, my support and prayers go out to those who would fight in my stead and patience for our government in its due diligence of war. If my enemies will not respect me, let them fear me.
The Fourth of July celebration is not only an exercise of adulation for our founding fathers and historical prose. Rather, it is an exultation of freedom. Instead of asking the man, woman or child on the street to recite by verse those freedoms endowed by our creator, ask them for their definition of freedom. You may be surprised at the depth of understanding of their unalienable rights.