Intermountain Jewish News

Banner
Wednesday,
Nov 26th

The meaning of American independence

E-mail Print PDF

Who is July 4 really about? The Founding Fathers? The warriors? The heroes?

When it comes to the Fourth of July — as with most other national holidays — all of the clichés have long been spoken.

It’s about more than beer, barbecues and baseball, more than fireworks, more than hanging Old Glory from the porch or bandstand.

It’s even more than taking a moment from our busy and colorful celebrations to think about the courage and vision of those Founding Fathers who, on a sultry summer day in Philadelphia in 1776, dared to stare a mighty and oppressive empire full in the face and, without blinking, defy it.

It’s not only about how the United States of America first came to be but what it has taken to preserve it, to perpetuate it, to work constantly to improve it.

It’s certainly about leaders — men whose names are well-known to us and whose likenesses appear on our money and postage stamps — but, even more so, about those who are, for the most part, nameless and faceless today but whose courage and sacrifice was manifested in places with such names as Gettysburg, Argonne, Normandy, Pusan, Khe Sanh, Tikrit.

And it’s even about more than warriors.

It’s about those who fought for our civil rights, toiled in factories and on farms, taught our children, treated our sick, furthered our knowledge in science, drafted and defended our laws, helped ease the suffering of our poor and disadvantaged, composed songs, painted paintings and wrote books.

The holiday is really about all Americans — of whatever color, background, gender, age or creed — whose intelligence, creativity, energy and belief in freedom have become integral parts of the crazy, hopeful and beautiful quilt that is America.

There’s nothing wrong with showing some enthusiastic national spirit every now and then. Flying the flag and cheering at pyrotechnics are loads of fun, and it’s ennobling to remember the patriots who 238 years ago made all this possible.

Just remember that the Fourth of July goes way beyond that small and determined group of brave visionaries. It’s about the very large group of brave visionaries who have come in their wake, who follow and expand upon their example today and who — G-d willing — will continue to do so long into the future.

It’s really about us.

Copyright © 2014 by the Intermountain Jewish News

 

IJN e-Edition

This is only a taste! Get full access to the IJN via our e-Edition, only $14.04 for IJN Print subscribers.

E-Edition subscribers get access to a complete digital replica of the IJN, which includes all special sections.

Get the IJN's free newsletter!

Shabbat Times

JTA News

Polish town plans to turn Jewish cemetery into apartment complex

Marcy Oster The mayor of Grodzisk Mazowiecki has suspended action on the plan pending clarification of the cemetery’s boundaries. ... [Link]

Jewish construction worker killed in terror attack, police say

Marcy Oster Nathaniel Arami fell 11 stories from the side of a high-rise building where he was doing exterior work when both of his rappelling cables snapped; police initially called it an accident. ... [Link]

Police chief: Keep right-wing lawmakers off Temple Mount

Marcy Oster Police Insp.-Gen. Yohanan Danino called Israel Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein’s decision to allow Moshe Feiglin and other lawmakers to visit the Temple Mount a “mistake,” ... [Link]

With Iran talks extended, some in Congress are rushing to step in

Ron Kampeas The talks with Iran have been extended, giving Congress an opportunity to wield its influence. ... [Link]

Shoes of Majdanek inmates stolen from concentration camp’s museum

Marcy Oster There is no monitoring in the former barrack where the shoes are displayed. ... [Link]

Iran’s supreme leader tweets: ‘arrogant’ powers won’t bring country to its knees

Raffi Wineburg The Twitter message on nuclear talks between Iran and world powers runs counter to statements by Iran’s president, who spoke of narrowing gaps at the Vienna negotiations. ... [Link]

Israeli lawmakers peeved by U.S. criticism of ‘Jewish state’ bill

Ron Kampeas Naftali Bennett and Zeev Elkin see the raps as an unnecessary interference in Israel’s domestic affairs. ... [Link]

Israeli man, 22, attacked in Berlin

Marcy Oster The victim said he was beaten and kicked after leaving synagogue by four men who spoke German with an Arabic accent. ... [Link]

Intermountain Jewish News • 1177 Grant Street • Denver, CO 80203 • 303 861 2234 • FAX 303 832 6942
email@ijn.com • larry@ijn.com • lori@ijn.com