Fourth of July still worth celebrating
The 4th of July was a steamy one Wednesday. I worked until noon, came home and stayed in my air conditioned cave until 9 p.m. when Sharon and I got in the car, drove to Spicer, battled the mosquitos and watched the fireworks. We noted the crowd was lighter than usual, and I was told the parade crowd earlier in the day was also more sparse. While waiting for the fireworks to begin, Sharon and I went to the Mexican restaurant and enjoyed some cold beverages. I noticed the simple plywood bar was beautifully hand decorated, and the bartender told me he had done it with a charcoal pencil in one day. It said "Mi Cultura" which I assume means "my culture", and had pictures of a man and woman in traditional Mexican costume and a couple of gorgeous eagles. On the other side of the bar was the word Vikings and although I couldn't see it, I assume it was a drawing of the Viking's head mascot. I just got to thinking that's what the Fourth of July is all about...our nation's freedom, freedom to pursue your dream like the proprietor of the Mexican restaurant and his family were doing. His picture showed his pride in his past, as well as loyalty to his new country and his state's bumbling football team, the Vikings. I chose to believe the thin crowds were due to the dangerously hot, sticky, heavy, humid weather and not an increasing apathy for Independence Day. Even with the increasing industrial strength of China and South Korea, the hatred of American freedoms by Islamic extremists and the apparent deterioration of this country's education system compared to Third World countries that relish education as a route out of poverty, people still flock to this country because of it's freedom that millions have given their lives defending. We must always remember this, and remain vigilant of efforts by our own government to take away our freedoms, which are often cloaked with reasons like, "it's for the public good" or "the rich are too rich and we must take away their money and give it to the poor." We as citizens also must continue to display the best traits of Americans by acting on our own and help people who need it.