"Taking Pride in the Fourth of July"
By Capt. Fred Davis
Published: Saturday, July 6, 2013


As I write this column, everyone’s plans for the Fourth of July celebrations currently are being put into place.

Floats for the parades, fireworks organized, burgers and hot dogs laid in for the outdoor picnics, flags ready to fly. Today’s weather forecast makes me wonder if any of our plans will be carried out. As I see it, this would be a good time for the weather people to get it wrong!

So by the time you read this commentary, all the plans made will have been carried out — or canceled. I sure hope the latter did not apply.

The Fourth of July is one of our countries most cherished and celebrated holidays — we swell with pride each time it arrives. Many of us, however, have little knowledge of why we are so proud. We are celebrating the birth of our nation! This year is its 237th birthday.

The Declaration of Independence was written and approved in 1776 to let the world know the American colonies declared they were free and independent states. They claimed all men to be equal and all had equal rights.

I have heard that phrase about our “Rights” repeated many times recently referring to current events. In some cases, I wonder if our founding fathers intended them to be interpreted as they are today. I wonder if the references to “Equal Rights” as used today were even thought of in 1776.

We all live under these rights, enjoy the opportunity to pursue our own futures and plan our way of reaching them.

I wonder, though, if we are living in reality of the Declaration of Independence. In fact, does that Declaration in any way reflect today’s way of life and Independence?

It is not my intent to question the value of our Declaration, only to note that many questions are being brought up and reviewed. Interpretations are being made by courts that didn’t exist at the time our guidepost was penned. Those guides are being challenged by organizations unheard of 237 years ago.

Can it really be believed that our forefathers had the ability to see that far into the future? If that is true, why are we dealing with so many new court decisions?

After our 237th celebration is over, all the fireworks smoke has cleared and the food and beverage hangovers are wearing off, I suggest you may find reading the actual independence documents interesting but antiquated.

Will we wake up some day and learn the courts have ruled our Declaration of Independence is invalid? What will be proposed to replace it?

This Fourth of July brought a tremendous sadness throughout our country — and especially among its community of firefighters. The loss of an entire crew of “Hot Shots” fighting a wildfire in Arizona was devastating.

They, like all who answer the call, gambled their lives to protect others they did not even know. Heroes live among us and 19 of them made the ultimate sacrifice — I know we all offer our prayers and condolences to their families.




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