This is July 4th Weekend. The 4th of July is called Independence Day in the USA and we have been celebrating it for about 238 years as best I can tell. Perhaps this is a good time to think about liberty, freedom, patriotism, and democracy rather than fishing. Now fishing is important, surely to all of us here at American Legacy, but it’s only available to all of us because of these wonderful liberties we enjoy and often take for granted. And I think there is a difference between liberty, freedom, patriotism, and democracy.
Liberty is the unqualified opportunity to do what we wish and think what we will in an environment free from outside pressure, whether that be from inside or outside our country. Admittedly the freedoms our ancestors enjoy have changed, but we, the people, have been the force behind those changes. If we have given something up, we most likely have gained more in the bargain. Today we enjoy access to information instantly through the Internet as well as more traditional media. Although we may not always agree with each other, we continue to tolerate other’s views and opinions. We vote as a community, a state, and a nation to peacefully effect change for the majority. Liberty is only possible in such an environment.
Freedom means that we are minimally accountable as long as we abide by the laws of our country and community. Restrictions on movement and actions are small in this great country even after more than 200 years of fine tuning the constitution and the law. It is very rare that we experience any personal restrictions regarding movement, jobs, family, friends, religion, or society. We are a wonderful blend of great cultures and beliefs that freely travels this great land unencumbered by accountability (other than from our spouse!). We can pass from one state to another freely, from one job to another seamlessly, from one generation to another without interruption. We move from home to business to recreation to spiritual or social venues with ease. And most of us do this daily without even thinking about how wonderful this is or how it is possible.
Because we have such liberties and freedom we call this arrangement a democracy. We welcome all who wish to join us and do so without reservations. Although we may not be as willing to fling the doors to our country as wide open as in the past, you are still welcome if you share our vision of freedom, liberty, and democracy. We are unique in how early and how fervently we embraced and continue to support such an arrangement of people and government. All we ask is that you agree to become an American in heart and soul and we will embrace you and guide you. We are a very proud people who really do want everyone to enjoy such a wonderful arrangement of government by and for its people. We effect change through an orderly, peaceful process we call voting. We do this quite often so we don’t get out of practice.
Patriotism is how we feel about our liberties, our freedoms, our history, and our democracy. We proudly fly the American flag, vote in our elections, stand for our national anthem, and get teary-eyed when our soldiers must leave to defend us. We believe in tolerance, compassion, human value, honesty, and hard work. Being imperfect, we may flounder from time to time, but we always have the mettle and determination to fix what has broken and continue on. We fought for these freedoms beginning well over 200 years ago and are more than willing to do so today if threats to our liberties, freedom, and democracy develop. You see, this is how we have had what we have for such a long time.
So, on this July 4th weekend I hope all of you, whether you live here in the USA or in another country will take a moment to reflect on just how blessed we really are. We have been given four wonderful gifts: liberty, freedom, democracy, and patriotism. God bless.
Thanks to all of our great friends and customers who have supported us and passed our name on to their friends. We know we are only here by making sure your needs are our first and only priority. Please let me know if we ever fail to meet and exceed your expectations.