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Wednesday, July 4, 2012


Time it was, and what a time it was, it was
A time of innocence, A time of confidences...

-Simon and Garfunkle

When I was a kid in small town Georgia the most anticipated day of the year (behind Christmas, of course) was the 4th of July. Our little town, Douglasville, pulled out all the stops with a parade on Broad Street, then barbeque, Brunswick stew and Little League baseball games all at the City Park. This was before the park was named "Hunter Park" in honor of the town's most famous Viet Nam War casuality. It was truly a time of innocence that I'm wondering was perhaps a genuine embodiment of the spirit of independence and freedom we celebrated. It was also a time of confidences as there was, at least in my memory, little if any patriotic posturing, but rather partriotic participation in a community celebration. There was confidence in freedom that need not be proclaimed and pronounced, but rather lived and shared.

Here in Washington, DC on Capitol Hill I experienced a similar innocence and confidence this morning as my wife, Peg, and I stood on the curb and watched friends and neighbors parade up 8th St. SE. Kids of all ages were everywhere both in and watching the parade which had way more bicycles, wagons, strollers, pickup trucks, and walking groups than floats. The parade was led by The Marine Corp Band, just another neighborhood group, because the 8th and I Street Barracks is where they live.

All over our country today similar activities are taking place, parades, picnics, ballgames, fireworks, concerts, boating...from mountains to beaches, from cities to villages we join together as families, communities, and nation not to proclaim liberty and freedom, but to confidently live them in community, interconnected, and interdependent.

Happy 4th of July!

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