I love New England! I was born and raised in Massachusetts, a region steeped in history. I lived in a region of this Country where early settlers were welcomed by the Native Americans, a people who were leary but open to learning about this stranger – and the stranger open to learning about the people who could have easily killed them but rather helped them. I lived in a region that saw the invasion of the French which led to the deaths of many early settlers. I lived in a State where the people sought after freedoms that were otherwise oppressed by tyranny. These brave Patriots fought and died so that future generations would be able to live free from oppression and free to live as God had intended. This was the American Revolution and the birth of a new Nation – the United States of America.
Today, I, along with this great Country, celebrate another birthday. As I have for several years, tonight I watch the Boston Pops 4th of July celebration. I recall my 25th birthday where I experienced this very celebration in person. This “ritual” has become even more important for me now that I no longer live in New England. It warms my heart to see Boston celebrate on July 4th, especially since so many places no longer do – like here in South Carolina. Even the local U.S. Army training facility didn’t celebrate today – they celebrated two days ago. Have we truly forgotten what today’s date truly means?
As I watch the cameras pan across the crowd of over 500,000 people, I see a people who, no matter what the walk of life, have come together – setting aside their differences – to celebrate the freedoms that so many before them have lost life and limb for. People are dressed for the occasion, waving flags, and enjoying America’s Birthday Party, and Boston knows how to throw a GREAT party!
Although the political climate in New England has changed dramatically (which breaks my heart), my love for the history it holds has not. My love for the farmlands, the mountains, the ocean, the cities, the people, the culture is still imbeded in my heart. I am a New Englander, and I love my Country, and I hope that, one day, the rest of our great Country will come to love and understand the freedoms our God and Creator endowed us with, the freedoms that our Forefathers hoped to protect for us in the Bill of Rights and the Constitution of the United States. Our freedoms “of” not the freedoms “from”.
Happy Birthday to the United States of America! May she live long and free!