All over America, we’ll celebrate Independence Day today with block parties, barbecues, picnics and fireworks. A few will be at their regular posts, especially the police, fire and rescue folks who will minimize the damage we’d otherwise do to ourselves. And for many, from the mountains of Afghanistan to the streets of Fallujah, from the skies over Japan to the NORAD crew under Cheyenne Mountain keeping an eye on North Korea, today will be another day on duty and perhaps at risk. For all who serve, this is a day to work. For those of us who don’t, it’s a day to salute them. You see a cop on a street corner, sweating through his dark blue shirt? Take him a cold bottle of water (and make sure it’s still sealed as it was when you bought it.)
For most of us, this is a day to remember who we are and what we are. The fortunate citizens whose freedoms were gained because 230 years ago today a group of men signed a paper on which they pledged each other, “…out lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor.” The weren’t gods, but they were a group so foresighted and endowed with wisdom that they created the foundation of America and of the Constitution some of them later drafted. They weren’t gods, but they were a cut above. People whose firm values and courage have given us freedoms that have, so far, stood the test of time. If not the Times.
Leave it to the Keller Kiddies to trash Independence Day. An op-ed contributor, Francois Furstenberg does it as only Times can, proclaiming the Founders to have been nothing special, just the creation of 18th-Century spinmeisters. It takes a special kind of mean-spirited anti-Americanism to say it for the Times. For us, all it takes is to remember that but for these great men, America would have never been born. Happy Fourth, everybody.