This was a July Fourth like no other

It was inspirational, this past weekend, reading the many articles about America's beginnings and the great men who risked everything to codify our God-given rights and freedoms.  Unfortunately, soon afterward, the reality of 2021 came crashing back into focus.

Unlike years past in my once openly conservative neighborhood, ours was the only house on the block flying the colors for the Fourth of July.  I don't want to make too big a deal out of it, but it does seem obvious that something has changed.  Where is the pride in America and what it represents?  It feels as if even many patriots no longer care about her fate.

In America's hour of need, citizens turn their backs, and few seem to understand that our way of life is on the chopping block. We can't speak our minds without fear of retribution.  We can't claim our rights without being ostracized or imprisoned.  Even within our homes, the colors fade to white.

Where are all the Thomas Paines and Patrick Henrys?  We've already learned that one man on the radio could not, singlehandedly, return the country to sanity.  One president could not stem the tide of corruption.

What will be our fate when the Stars and Stripes no longer wave over the fruited plain?  It's not pretty.  The great names are dragged to the ground in city parks across the country.  The deeds of immense courage are eroded within feckless universities.  Elections are decided in advance, and the elitist media serve as cheerleaders for the Marxist promenade.  Our borders are overrun by invitation, and the average American no longer has a voice as our leaders sow the seeds of our destruction.

Already these leaders want to disarm us.  Already they throw us into solitary confinement by the hundreds.

 Is this still the land of the free?  Will we walk the straight and narrow or stand watching along the broad highway as a parade of depravity and diversion washes past us?  How do we push back against endlessly manufactured crises?  How can we ward off the next lockdown?

We would do well to remember the words of the great Ronald Reagan:

Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.

Image: Old barn with a new American flag outside New Haven, Vermont, by Carol Highsmith. Library of Congress, no known restrictions. 

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