July 4, 2017

101_3073I can’t help but wonder sometimes just who has highjacked my country. And, more importantly, why?

On this Independence Day, I would like to celebrate the freedoms that we have, enjoy my friends and bask in small-town pleasures like back-yard-barbecues, relaxing times, loud music, and the spectacle of fireworks exploding in the sky. It’s a national tradition.

Or, it was such a tradition until recently, when invective, rancor and malice ran wild, and name calling became a national sport, right up there with spreading discontent and circulating half-truths and full-blown untruths. This is nothing to celebrate, to be sure.

Wouldn’t it be nice if we could all embrace the sentiments expressed in this beautifully inclusive video that a relative of mine shared this morning? Unfortunately, it seems that some viewers see it as a reason to criticize these United States rather than to celebrate US. More’s the pity.

Rather than uniting for the common good, many seem bent on further division — against enemies ill-defined and largely non-existent. We no longer speak a common language of tolerance and understanding, and some remember only how to label and criticize.

I shared this video because it expresses my heartfelt belief that diversity does indeed make us great, and I choose to celebrate that diversity. But I suspect that others view this video very differently, as a way to point out that some of us are less equal, less deserving, less acknowledged, less free, and somehow less important than others. That discussion is for another time and another place.

It saddens me, because on this day, at least, we ought to be able to come together to celebrate the great experiment known as the United States of America. There is enough time on all other days to dispute that, if dispute you must.

On this day, it is enough to wave the flag, watch the fireworks and celebrate our heritage.


About Adrienne Cohen

For more than a decade, Adrienne has been a freelance writer specializing in travel, food and drink, small business, urban agriculture, entrepreneurship, home design and decor, construction and real estate topics. Her bylined work has been featured in numerous print and online publications in this country and internationally. Read and follow her at goodfoodandfarawayplaces.com, or follow her here to get her thoughts on current events, modern life and the complexities of living in a fast-changing world.
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