Blog 2109 – 07.04.2021
The Fourth of July in my country is flags, fireworks, and cookouts celebrating our independence from British rule. Once Great Britain not only ruled the waves but colonies far a wide around the globe. The little island nation that these days has trouble enough keeping the several nations on that island, the divided Irish island nearby, and the Royal Family together, once was a world wide empire. Sadly, we in this country learned a lot of bad habits from our parent nation regarding empire building.
Western dualism, where everything is labeled good or bad, black or white, positive or negative is by its very nature a win or lose proposition. But it does not have to be either or, but can indeed be both, win-win. Winners, they say write the history books and in them they never lose. We see such sad lies played out in the headlines each day.
I read some years ago that the British military still regard George Washington as a traitor and enemy of the realm. Just a few days ago the results of a recent survey in this country showed that the majority of Americans still regard George Washington as by far the best American President, living or dead, and the one named the worst living one, himself accused of inciting a mob to attack the Capital, I shall not name. As a military leader first for the British and later in the rebellion against the British, George Washington and his soldiers suffered losses. He did not deny them, but kept fighting for what he believed in till he won against all odds, defeating the most powerful nation in the world at that time.
In our almost two hundred and fifty years as an independent nation we have fought a lot of wars and lost a lot battles, but few wars unless you count the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Iraq War and the Afghanistan War. World War Two is referred to by many as The Great War. The same moniker was used for World War One, also called The War To End All Wars. And it might have if we had learned how to keep the peace as well as we have learned how to make war.
Still we choose to make a song, about the rockets’ red glare and our battle scarred flag still being there, our national anthem. I, with many, think God Bless American or America the Beautiful would have both made better choices. Still we choose to celebrating our birthday each year with a booming display of fireworks instead of with flowers. I recall a famous photograph from the sixties, the decade in which I came of age, showing a peaceful war protester putting a flower in the barrel of a soldier’s rifle.
With the Beatles, popular in that era, I still sing on this my seventy-first Fourth of July: “All we are saying, is give peace a chance.”
Your friend and fellow traveler,
No fireworks for me today, just flowers, bubbles, and food with friends,