Happy Independence Day. It’s been a tumultuous year so far in politics and current events in America.
(Current events being the first draft of history, as I’ve heard it been said, I think, by the late journalist Gwen Ifill).
Take a moment to reflect on the meaning of “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,” and don’t forget that the Constitution does say we’re “to form a more perfect union.”
I mentioned this last 4th of July on Facebook, crediting the idea to WNYC’s Brian Lehrer: on America’s birthday, like any birthday, acknowledge it, warts and all, and hope (and work) for better.
“I love America more than any other country in this world, and, exactly for this reason, I insist on the right to criticize her perpetually.” – James Baldwin. Something to think about in these times.
Yes, there’s “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness,” but as I get older, I’m more struck by the end of the document, when the Founding Fathers state: “And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.”
The Founding Fathers were about to do something dangerous, and they knew it. But, they went ahead together, in hopes of something good. Social contract theory meant something to them. The experiment continues, 242 years later.
NPR on Facebook shared a link to a feature from July 4, 2010, wherein NPR’s Guy Raz interviewed author and historian Ray Raphael on dispelling myths about Independence Day and the revolution. The linked page notes: “America ended up with the 4th because that’s the day the Declaration of Independence was sent out to the states to be read. The document was dated July 4, so that’s the day they celebrated.”
As we lawyers say: just go by the effective date…
I’m sharing this on triscribe, as around here, every day is APA Heritage, but I had this link laying around since May: Atlanta Braves player Kurt Suzuki, on being an Asian American in Major League Baseball. Baseball has long been America’s game, but it is odd that there aren’t a lot of APAs in major league baseball, for any number of reasons.
I’ve been terribly behind on blogging. We’ll see how the summer goes.