The Fourth of July

It’s a rainy day in our community, so the expression “rain on our parade” is probably appropriate for the nearby town of Afton’s annual parade.

July 4 is when we celebrate how exceptional we are.  This year “exceptional” has a very different definition than previous years, in my opinion.  We are awash in uncertainty and division.

Some opinion pieces reflect my personal opinion, this day:  One or more of these may be subject to a pay wall.  But all of them are well worth your time.

“Happy Fourth?” by Dan Rather and Elliot Kirschner

“For the first time in my life…” by Charles Pierce, Esquire

July 2 by Heather Cox Richardson

Our Gun Myths Have Held America Hostage for Too Long” by Franciso Canti, New York Times guest essay

Sunday afternoon I had the fortunate opportunity to watch a portion of the PBS program on the American Space Program of the 1960s, which began with President Kennedy’s famous speech calling on us to have a man on the moon by the end of the 1960s; the decade ending with three men accomplishing the goal on July 20, 1969.

These were three two hour episodes of American Experience: Chasing the Moon (#’s 3103, 3104, 3105)

I wrote of my personal experience that day 5 years ago: Apollo 11.

Of course, much life transpired between JFK’s aspiration, and the accomplishment of the goal, including the assassination of JFK; the Civil Rights accomplishments largely on Lyndon Johnson’s watch; the conflicts of the Vietnam era; the competition with the Soviet Union, on and on.  But the program did give excellent context to me about what we are going through now in our national conversation about what we are as a nation.

Of course, July 20, 1969, was a national celebration, literally.  A goal achieved, against all odds.  If you can, the referenced program is a good one to access if you can.

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