Sunday, July 04, 2010

Remembering the 4th of July...

Back when we lived in England and I had no voice for a few weeks, I went to church and they sang the "Star Spangled Banner" (on the 4th of July Fast day) and I could not sing with my voice as it was. It made me cry not to be able to sing that patriotic song that I loved. I had come to appreciate being an American a lot more while we lived in England. Before we moved to England I really didn't think that life would be much different than living in America. To my surprise, it was. You kids probably were unaware while we lived there of the kinds of things that surprised me. I thought their standard of living would be the same. It wasn't. I became aware that most of the people in our village didn't own a car, a home, and didn't even have or use central heating or Air conditioning. Many of them had never in their lives been further away from Tingewick than 1 mile (on a bus to Buckingham). I was well aware that most countries in the world didn't have our standard of living, but beings that England is probably in the top 5 most prosperous countries in the world to live in, I didn't really anticipate things being so different there.

I think that it is important on this 4th of July that we pause in the midst of our celebrations of picnics, BBQ's, fireworks and family, to remember WHY we celebrate this day. To remember our founding fathers who risked their very lives when they signed the declaration of independence, which was essentially announcing to the the British their intentions to rebel against British rule. For most of my life, I don't think the full impact of what the signers had actually done, had hit me. What kind of men were the 56 signers who adopted the Declaration of Independence and who, by their signing, committed an act of treason against the Crown? They had set themselves up for execution by doing so...and had America not won our independence, most certainly they would have been executed.

Do we remember the sacrifices made by so many in our past to be able to live the way we do today? And while we are appreciating those who sacrificed for us, we also need to remember and honor those who brought the gospel back and sacrificed so much of their lives, their homes, their family's and friends to follow the prophet of God and move and start all over again many times AFTER they finally arrived in Utah to go and settle new areas as called to do by Brigham Young. As I read and see what their lives were appreciation for their sacrifices have soared as well. So I think that we need to (like we do at Christmastime) stop and remember WHY we celebrate and remember the great courage, perseverance, diligence and determination offered by those in the past, to a cause that was so worthy of their sacrifice. And perhaps we should also ask ourselves if our lives carry on in just such an honorable way...never wavering either in the causes that we know to be right and true. I hope that our posterity also will be able to rise up and honor us for the things that we did in this life, the way we honor our founding fathers and pioneers for their sacrifice to do what was right.



Gramps said...

Down with King George III!

Erica said...

I read somewhere that something like 12 of the signers were captured and tortured to death. Sobering. I love America too! :)