Perhaps we shouldn’t be too hard on ourselves if this Fourth of July holiday brings on a sense of bewilderment, of being at cross-purposes.
There is no doubting the traditions of a holiday that honors those men and women who worked together to create this wonderful and ongoing experiment in democracy and capitalism.
At its best, July 4th is an unabashed celebration of patriotism. Parades put civic pride on display, young children wave flags, maybe even march. Families get together for food, fun and perhaps a fireworks show.
But what happens on such as day when the nation is involved in a war that it doesn’t want to continue but isafraid to end? When the country wants to support its soldiers, but questions its war? When only a quarter to a third of the nation, depending on the pollster, supports the president who championed that war?
Certainly, the celebrations can and should go on, the watermelon cut, burgers barbecued and potato salad mixed. But perhaps there can also be thoughtful conversations, examinations of where we are and where we want to go.
There have been other wars with other difficult questions. We came together to find a path then, we can do it again.