Independence Day

A couple of weeks ago, a Minot student on a trip abroad to Europe wrote a letter to the editor citing his observation. In a nutshell, the eloquent note observed how good American citizens have it as opposed even to our collective European cousins.

I’ll be honest. I have thought about that letter a lot the past few days as we prepare for Independence Day. I really admire a young person coming to such a mature realization so early in life, when so many never do. Here we have a student in Minot who is already wiser than half of the United States Congress.

Unfortunately, I have also given thought to less admirable young people around the country. On the opposite end of our appreciative letter writer are the youngsters around the country, mostly from very comfortable backgrounds, whose utter contempt for their country and its residents with whom they disagree. You’ve seen the video: so-called social justice warriors rioting, destroying, attacking those with contrasting points of view, denouncing the very institutions that enabled them to have such cushy, well-fed lives in the first place.

One young man makes me proud of Minot values. The ones on TV, frankly, make me as close to angry as I get, and they scare me. They scare me because, having been a lifelong voracious news consumer and a news producer almost as long, I can envision a potential abomination on the road ahead of us as a nation.

I can see a day when government bans celebration of Independence Day.

Maybe “ban” is too tough a word. It isn’t like the federal government is ever going to remove it as a holiday – not as long as government employees are the most powerful constituency in the nation.

But the flag-waving, fireworks-driven community-based celebrations to which we have become accustomed are already anathema to some. Sadly, this type of observance is likely to come under fire.

To too many people in this country, our flag is a symbol of evil oppression, as representative of everything that is evil on the planet. To these same people, fireworks and Independence Day itself are martial, are celebrations of violence and war.

I can see the stories now. In California, they could re-envision Independence Day as Multicultural Day or Collective Economics Day or some such rubbish. Manhattan could push New York to gravitate toward International Cooperation Day or Public Sector Appreciation Day.

It scares me that this is only the slightest bit satirical. Oh, it might not be as blatant as this, but sadly I can see it coming.

And it sickens me.

It sickens me to see some equate patriotism with nationalism. Ethically it disgusts me, sure, but it’s also odious because it is utterly ignorant. Just as it is ignorant to equate our flag with oppression and tyranny.

Let’s hope there are more young people like our letter writer out there in the country. The powerful internal movement to erase our culture and collapse our civil society isn’t going away… and Independence Day is a considerable target.

Personally, I am not a fireworks fan. But it is deeply, deeply rewarding to see Minot, Ward County and our region celebrating the Fourth of July in the many ways we do.

Saturday morning, I saw this family walking together, with kids decked out in red, white and blue. I hope my grandchildren will one day have the right to do that, without being persecuted for being “haters” or prosecuted for thought crimes. “Hope” because if you think this isn’t a very real possibility in our future, then you aren’t paying enough attention.

Here in our part of the planet, though, thankfully we still celebrate Independence Day for what it truly means. We should be proud of one another for that, proud of our community, proud of our neighbors and proud of our young people.

We should be proud of a great nation. I’m sorry – proud of the great nation.

God bless and watch over the United States and over our community, a community in which fidelity is not a dirty word. Hopefully, there will always be an Independence Day observance in Minot.