Friday, July 4, 2008

Happy Birthday

Today I will dress my children in your colors. We will gather with family and drink soda out of plastic cups and laugh about how the children have grown. We will complain about the heat and eat too much. And then when it grows dark we will put sparklers in the hands of our wide eyed children and fight the crowds to watch mock bombs explode into beautiful colors.

And hopefully we will remember. We'll remember to tell those children why today is special. How 232 years ago you were born of men with conviction and foresight. Men who, like so many mothers, were willing to sacrifice all of themselves to bring you into existence. How, being birthed from men, and raised by them, you are not perfect. But you are beautiful. And strong. And how life with you is unimaginably better than life so many other places.

How people still sacrifice all they have for a chance to be one of your children. To raise their children under your protective wings and share in your abundance. How men and women work tirelessly in uniforms and with laws and hands and hearts to keep you strong, to protect your honor, to heal your injuries and preserve your beauty.

And hopefully we'll remember to tell those children that one day the responsibility will be theirs. To protect you. To stand up against injustice and vote for things that will make you stronger. That will protect your heart, both fierce and fragile. That it's not enough just to call you our own. And that disparaging you without any efforts to change what is wrong dishonors all those who sacrificed their lives for the belief that you are worthy.

Happy Birthday America. I am proud to call you my child, my mother, my protector, my country.

My home.


Beck said...

This was really beautiful - you should send it in someplace.
Have a great Independence Day.

flutter said...


Kyla said...

This was wonderful, Joy!

Chrissy said...

Gorgeous post. Happy 4th to you, my friend.

Gotta GROW with it said...

this has to be the most powerful post yet on being an american. thank you sweet blogger friend. i stand next to you and feel the same!

Genny said...

LOVED this post. Beautiful!

the dragonfly said...

Lovely. Happy Birthday, USA.