Reflections on the Traditions, Icons and Hope of American Independence
(March 4, 2008)
The world has called it the great American experiment. As a result, Americans of all nationalities and cultures cherish our traditions today as distinctively American. These traditions and American icons, cement an experiment that has transformed and shaped not only America, but the world.
As a result of our grand endeavor of Freedom; America continues to embrace our ability to reach out to the world proclaiming hope; Freedom and a better life lived through opportunity.
When our founding Fathers established the American Constitution, they conferred
|that government and man; were susceptible to corruption and the trappings of power. They framed certain checks and balances within the Legislative, Judicial, and Executive bodies of our fledgling Government. They struck the correct balance and ever since, Americans have learned much from both our failures as well as our victories.|
|It was President Theodore Roosevelt who said “ Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure... than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat”.|
As our American experiment unfolded over time, we have seen that freedom has fostered great ideas and ambitions. It has been freedom that inspires us to dream big dreams, and that in America; with a little hard work, anything is possible. Our dreams, celebrated with our inventions, have forever changed the world.
We could never forget the Wright Brothers, who soared against early disappointments and triumphed with victory at Kitty Hawk.
Millions of Americans watched with marvel, as Thomas Edison set the world aglow, with the light bulb. And how can we forget a child's wonder and America's romance with the locomotives that began a transportation revolution and fueled a hungry nation.
And the world held their breath together, as Neil Armstrong encouraged us to
“Take one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”
From helicopters to heart surgery, steamboats to submarines, medicines to machines, Americans have lived their lives with the freedom that has inspired mankind's greatest discoveries. It was Independence that ignited their imagination and today has lit the world.
Those who fought to establish our American foundations took harrowing risks and great leaps of faith. When we truly reflect on our heroes and our flag, they remind us of our battles, the current risks and the ultimate sacrifice for this Nation. The sight and sound of our flag solemnly stirs our attention to those who have sacrificed so much for our freedoms.
We are reminded that our soldiers could never complete their mission of hope, apart from those supporting them at home. The fruits of freedom have shown our love and dedication through America's family of community volunteers. We salute the years of dedicated service from those with the U.S.O., American Legion and a grateful Nation embraces our American Gold Star families.
As we all celebrate the birth of our nations Independence, we tend to wax a little nostalgic. And we make no apologies for that .The icons of our Independence are inspiring, majestic and forever enduring. They inspire hope to a thirsty world longing for fulfillment and opportunity.
They are Quintessential American.
We look no further than the inspiring hope of The Statue of Liberty, beckoning the world with the Light of Liberty. She calls us to remembrance that ours is a nation that has risen to the calling, the high hopes that liberty gives to all who call for her.
We cling with joy the memories of hotdogs at the ballpark, the box of crackerjacks, lemonade stands and the timeless art of American baseball. And I could never forget the sight, smell, and snap of a leather glove that catches a baseball my son has thrown me. It reminds me that America is my field of Dreams.
And how many of us remember the simple pleasure of a Hershey bar, sipping an ice-cold Coca Cola and relishing the Thanksgiving dinner with family gathered together.
And it's all rather perfect isn't it?
Those traditions continue to rekindle the memory of who we are. And the glorious sight of red, white and blue flags flown from the front porch, beckon our hearts to remember simpler times. They call for us to remember where we came from, and where we are going.
With independence as our nations compass; we will always look appropriately towards the sky as our future, and proclaim the truth that our flag is still there. And they proclaim to us that man and nation are inspired when hope is nurtured in Freedom and fostered in Independence.
Shawn Black, a California resident, is a military veteran, former federal agent and founder of Project Prayer Flag.
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