We are we the people, we are one people

By TIM BEELAND,

First of all the Fourth of July falling on a Thursday is a terrible idea. We won’t even be able to get the grill fired up good before it’s time to go to bed so we can be bright-eyed and bushy-tailed Friday for work. And, unless we’re going to get up some-kind-of-early and get the grass mowed there won’t be any time left to hand-churn ice cream, and the days are so long now fireworks won’t even be bursting in air ‘till way past my bedtime. That’s a shame. I love all the above. Especially on the Fourth.

Actually the Fourth of July has always been one of my favorite holidays. All the patriotism on display, flags flying high in the air, red white and blue bunting everywhere. What American wouldn’t be proud?

But, sometimes I do wonder if all the patriots are fed up and staying indoors. Last week we were having a staff discussion on content for today’s newspaper. We had an early print deadline, as often is the case when holidays fall within a Tuesday to Thursday time frame, so we were looking at a quick turn-around from the prior week and hoping for something patriotic since this paper is dated July 3 — Fourth of July Eve.

News Editor James Phillips was heading out and about in search of photos and I commented that any kind of Independence Day decorating or decorations or such would certainly be in order. “Anybody seen any July 4th decorations,” I asked. We all looked at each other, and back at each other, and answered, “no”  kind of in unison.

Seems to me we might all need to take a good long look at our own patriotism and at least get our flags back flying at the top of our poles. We need to be letting freedom ring. We need to be “we the people again” and not “me the person” in most everything we do. What better day to start that than the Fourth of July.

I dare say that if “we the people” were ever more divided in this great nation it would have to be during the terrible War Between the States almost 160 years ago. We don’t need that again! We all know the phrase “united we stand, divided we fall.” We don’t want to be in the latter group there either. So let’s unite. Let’s be we the people. Let’s get off our lazy butts and quit complaining — just like I was doing at the beginning of this column — and start working to change things. Let’s start tomorrow morning if not right now, today.

When I was in high school some 40-plus years ago this year, we had to memorize parts of the U.S. Constitution as well as parts of the Declaration of Independence. Those words have stuck with me — with the help of a little “Constitution Rock” on PBS on Saturday mornings — and they still ring so true today.

The Declaration begins: “When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

We’ve dissolved a lot of political bands recently, we’ve lost a lot of decent respect, and we certainly are not acting like “one people.” A little effort will go a long way. Get your flags out. Fire up your grills. Churn your cream. Invite your neighbors over. Give ‘em a hug and lets simply be good people. One people. We the people. The American people.

It’s the Fourth of July. Isn’t it time again for a little of that life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness our forefathers were talking about? I do belive that it is!

Have a safe and happy day.