Independence Day

Happy Independence Day 2016 so much more than just 4th of July

Graphic: United We Win  Printed by the Government Printing Office 1943It is time for my annual rant to get people to quit using the phrase 4th of July for just another excuse to drink and eat and draw attention to the reasons for celebrating Independence Day.

I hope this weekend brings you and your family some time together. Maybe for just a few days, all of who say they are happy to be living in the United States of America can reflect on the common issues that bring us together this weekend.

Take a few minutes to visit AmericanPhilosopher.US and read my reflection of the commitment we celebrate on Independence Day and a short poem to help remember what Independence Day really represents.

Read and reflect on the words that created our common bond back in 1776: In Congress, July 4, 1776 | A Declaration by the Representatives of the United States of America

If you are really into the spirit of the Independence Day holiday, reflect a bit on the meaning of the bombs bursting in air before you head out to watch the fireworks this weekend.

If I have made you feel guilty about using the 4th of July as an excuse to drink and over eat, you still have Cinco de Mayo, that's Spanish for "Fifth of May." Most American's are clueless as to the significance of that day in Mexican history. Since I do not celebrate Mexican history, I do have no need to drink and over eat on Cinco de Mayo, or explain the significance of the 5th of May.

How many Americans can tell you the story behind the symbols of history?

Celebrating the symbols of American history: The Star Spangled Banner and the Battle of Baltimore

September 14th, 2014 marked the 200th anniversary of a notable event in American history.  Other than the website of the national park that is commemorating the event, there's not much conversation to be found.

If I asked 10 people the significance of September 14th, 1814, I would be surprised if more than one person could answer correctly. 

Does anyone study history anymore?

From studying history in school I remember names and dates on a timeline. History is more than just memorizing a date.  Throuhout my life I have visited many historic sites to learn more about the events associated with the famous names and dates.

I recall a volunteer tour guide at a historic site lamenting that Americans really don't know much about history.  The guide was a World War II veteran who was sharing his personal insights and perspectives of Dwight D. Eisenhower, the Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces during World War II.

There are many symbols in our lives that we accept, without knowing why. As a parent I often took my kids to many historic sites to give some meaning to those names and dates on a timeline.

In the aftermath of the terrorism of September 2001, I wanted to take our family somewhere to reflect on the price America has paid for freedom. We visited Fort McHenry in Baltimore, the birthplace of our National Anthem.

Before every sporting event and many other social gatherings we rise for the playing of The Star-Spangled Banner. But how many Americans can tell you the story behind the song?

The 200th anniversary of the story behind the symbol


Those who say we celebrate September 14th, 1814 as the 200th anniversary of the Star Spangled Banner are missing the story behind the symbol.

Francis Scott Key was an American prisoner on a British ship who saw the large American flag still flying above Fort McHenry's ramparts.   On the morning of the September 14th, 1814, inspired by the American flag waving above Fort McHenry, Francis Scott Key would write that "the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave, O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!"

Key's poem "Defence of Fort McHenry"  is a first hand account of the young American republic as they held their ground over Britain in The Battle of Baltimore.
 

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The Tao of Questy is about love and laughter and being human. It's about sharing ideas and being a little bit crazy in order to stay sane.


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