Friday, July 03, 2009

Happy 4th of July

It's very, very hot here, typical for our fair city this time of year, just not terribly bearable except for Dr. Gorey's invention of air conditioning back in the early 19th century. It's been a bit of a quiet 4th of July here for us Blues. Mrs. Blue took off for South Georgia to spend time with her middle sister, Bigger Blue met up with folks in a group project at the local public library, while Littlest Blue and I sat around and watched "The Fifth Element". Later, I went shopping a got the fixin's for Pork Carnitas and we enjoyed them greatly.

It is strange to think that, back in the Civil War, Vicksburg fell to the Union forces under Grant and Gettysburg was soon to finish up its three days of hell. Americans in all sorts of places over the centuries have been fighting somewhere, surviving, sometimes maimed, others dying on July 4. It's a hard thing to think about, especially since my family has been luckier than most over the last few generations with no one being killed or wounded in the nation's defense. My grandfather didn't have to serve in WWI, my dad served a rough couple of years in North Africa and Italy as a groundscrewman in a B-24 unit during WWII (and did get shot at a few times, thank you very much), my brother was in the Air Force during Vietnam doing computer work for NORAD and I was too young for Vietnam, too old for everything else since. I still count myself lucky and fortunate to live here, even with all our troubles, since it is still freer than a lot of places and we haven't been in the business of shooting our political opponents, at least lately.

That's why I get so tired of reading blogs and posts by the "super-patriots", who either think that if YOU haven't served in the military, YOU cannot understand freedom OR that their political opinion should somehow count for more than yours. Having quite a few veterans in the family over the years and having studied most of our wars over the years has given me a great deal of respect for the military and for those who've sacrificed for our liberty, but I don't think that necessarily makes them more qualified to speak about political matters than me OR means that they love this country more than me or even more than the latest immigrant off the boat.

Garrison Keillor, host of "A Prarie Home Companion" recently said during a PBS show I saw following him around for a year with his show and daily life in New York City, that he's seen a lot of kindness in America during his travels and that that kindness has done more for us than the angry voices out there. I agree with him; I'm tired of the yelling, the hatred, the not-so-veiled disgust that many seem to have nowadays just about everything. Civility just isn't the accepted norm anymore and, unfortunately, there's too many ways for the venom to get our and about with the Internet and now stuff like Twitter.

I know I'm being a bit naive about this, since our history has been replete with harsh and nasty comments about everything, but some politeness and consideration would be rather nice right about now. The government isn't shooting those who disagree with it and our military isn't inclined to overthrow the legally elected authority, even if they don't agree with them all the time. Thank goodness for small favors.

No comments: