Off Topic Personal

Your Independence

To my American friends…

I just got back to my hotel room after watching Independence Day fireworks. We’re visiting my wife’s family in Chicago, and just like the rest of the thousands of people watching this show, we had a wonderful time watching the pyrotechnic display.

It was beautiful. (That’s one of the photos we took this evening.)

But I wonder how many of these thousands of people actually reflected on the true meaning of today’s celebration.

As each firework was launched from its mortar, we heard a loud boom. Moments later, we’d see a bright light, followed by another boom as the lighted artwork filled the sky.

What ran through my mind is that we’re sitting here, in the greatest country in the world, celebrating with these huge gunshots, but 234 years ago, the bombs were real, and men who had far more guts than I ever will fought vigorously to be free from oppression in all forms — oppression of speech, of assembly, of religion, of happiness, and of prosperity.

It’s because of those men, and the brave women who fought alongside and in support of them, that we