On the Fourth of July
|Fireworks in the neighborhood park last year.|
I have heard people say that the recent attacks on American democracy and human values make it hard for them to celebrate the Fourth of July this year. I still have confidence that our country and our democracy will survive, and that voters will enable responsible members of our national leadership to find a way to save us from the fanatics. Here is a quote from a Washington Post article that supports this message:
For those on the progressive side who feel they are on the losing end of today’s conflicts, our national birthday this year can be an occasion to remember those who came before them and never gave up on Martin Luther King’s vision of bending the arc of our story toward justice.
“One can be a critic of one’s country,” the great social thinker Daniel Bell wrote, “without being an enemy of its promise.” On this July Fourth, that promise is still worth celebrating — and fighting for. (source)
|The Marquis de Lafayette.|
This portrait hangs in Blair House, where
visitors to the President of the United States
are currently housed. (source)
A young nobleman from France, Marie-Joseph Paul Yves Roch Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de La Fayette (1757–1834), volunteered in 1777 to assist the independence effort. His support included political action in gaining French help for the war, providing the American fighters with both arms and funds. Further, Lafayette, who was a trained military expert and a General in the French Army gave Washington hands-on leadership, helping him to form an effective fighting force from the untrained volunteers for the war.
In 1824-1825, Lafayette returned to the United States where he was received as the great hero that he definitely was. Many towns, streets, and monuments were named for him.
|Statue of Washington and Lafayette by August Bartholdi, Paris. (source)|