“…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.” – concluding words of the Declaration of Independence
Today we celebrate its 243rd “Independence Day” with fireworks and flag-waving. While there is much to celebrate in the birth of our nation and the ideals of liberty and freedom that are the foundation of our constitution, much of the celebrating has become an exercise in glorifying war – the songs, the armored vehicles on parade, the military shows of strength and glory. War is unfortunately a part of our heritage as a nation, but there is so much more to celebrate, and other ways to serve. As long as we glorify war and perpetuate the view that no other service to country is as honorable or heroic as becoming a part of the military killing machine, we will continue to have wars and our sons and daughters will continue to seek the paths we so glorify.
The closing words of the Declaration of Independence call us to pledge our support for each other as we work together to make this country better. We at JRPC have called this day “Interdependence” day. Instead of glorifying war, let us think about and honor the indigenous Americans we displaced, the countries and peoples around the world we share this earth with, the earth itself and all our fellow creatures, the millions of immigrants that make our country rich with diversity, the neighbors we share our communities with, the civil servants who work hard with few rewards and all the heroes who worked and died to protect the human and civil rights of all of us. Let us celebrate those who serve our country in compassion and generosity – true to the spirit of liberty and justice for all. When I lift my red, white and blue, it will be for all of you…Betsy