That’s the true story of Independence Day. We’ll get there in just a second, but a bit of a funny story must come first.
We went shopping with Mrs. Manward last night. We needed new gates for the farm.
When we pulled our trailer into the lot, we were greeted by chaos. Cars were darting to and fro. Folks were skittering across the parking lot. And a few folks were even grilling behind their cars.
We’ve never seen such a mess… at least not at this dusty, old farm store.
At first we wondered if the owners took our advice for a “dancing chicks” ad campaign to unload what’s left of their springtime chickens.
But then we remembered the place got a new neighbor last fall – one of those big fireworks warehouses that plasters billboards up and down the highway.
We snuck around back and got out of the insanity.
“I talked with the owner last weekend,” Dave, our friend at the store, said. “They did $485,000 in sales just on Saturday. It’s way busier this week.”
“Hmmm…” we replied. “Apparently America changed its mind and does have a lot to celebrate these days.”
“It’s crazy because none of the cars are from around here,” our friend said as he picked through the gates looking for one that wasn’t already rusty.” A lot of plates are from Virginia, D.C., North Carolina, and I even saw one from Georgia.”
The irony was worth a smirk.
Folks from all over the East Coast drove to Pennsylvania to buy fireworks that are illegal in their home state… so they could turn around and sneak back across their border to celebrate their freedom.
No word if masks were mandatory.
It takes us back to those words at the top. We declare. We fight. And we maintain.
Do you know how folks fight each December over the use of “Merry Christmas” versus “Happy Holidays”?
We wonder why nobody gripes about the ideological thievery that’s stolen the identity of Independence Day.
The holiday is now squarely the “Fourth of July.”
And for us Liberty-minded folk, that’s a terrible notion. We’ve declared. We’ve fought. But we’ve had a heck of a time maintaining.
The story of Independence Day, after all, isn’t one of victory. That’s what most folks get wrong.
It is one of pain, death and a crystal clear vision of the future.
When Congress declared the colonies independent in 1776, this nation was anything but. We still had years of bloody war in front of us with able-bodied men fighting to make good on the promises made by the wealthy men in Philadelphia.
We declared… and then fought – not the other way around.
There’s a good lesson in that.
But we reckon America has no problem declaring things (today, by the way, is “National Stay Out of the Sun Day”). And it certainly has no problem fighting.
Instead, it’s the idea of maintaining our freedom from tyranny that seems to be a trouble spot.
We’ve forgotten good things need good upkeep.
Keep It If You Can
You’ve heard the old adage from Mr. Franklin…
After the Constitutional Convention in 1787, a lady in the crowd asked what sort of government the leaders of the day landed on.
Franklin replied with some now-famous words: “A republic… if you can keep it.”
But the press then was as bad as the press now.
It didn’t offer the full context of the conversation. The history books cut out the good stuff.
But we’ve got you covered.
Here’s the rest…
After Franklin reveals the news and hints at his worries for the future, Elizabeth Powel (the wife of Samuel Powel) shoots back.
“And why not keep it?”
“Because the people,” the man on the hundred-dollar bills says, “on tasting the dish, are always disposed to eat more of it than does them good.”
Golly, he was smart.
We just hope those poor saps with pyrotechnics in their trunks don’t get caught in any fireworks checkpoints on their way home.
The fines for illegally celebrating freedom are quite high.
Indeed, we’ve got some maintaining to do.
Enjoy your Independence Day.
Has America forgotten what Independence Day really means? Let us know your thoughts here.