Have a great 4th of July!

Dunlap residence, July 4, 2020
Photo: Joy Dunlap

I hope everyone has a great 4th of July!!!  You may enjoy Lee Greenwood’s new version of his legendary “God Bless the USA” which he made in collaboration with the US Air Force band and the American acapella group Home Free.

Here’s a bit of the lyrics:

And I’m proud to be an American
Where at least I know I’m free
And I won’t forget the men who died
Who gave that right to me
And I’d gladly stand up next to you
And defend Her still today
‘Cause there ain’t no doubt
I love this land
God Bless the U.S.A.

You may also enjoy the musical presentation “We the People” at the National Cathedral set for 11 a.m.today.  In addition, Stephanie Hilton, a veteran and the new graduate assistant for Duke’s Office of Student Veterans, wrote this Independence Day Reflection.

Of course, reading the Declaration of Independence itself is a very worthwhile endeavor (and eye-opening to many I’ll bet!).  To read its conclusion that “in support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor,” in connection with Rick Atkinson’s, magnificent new book, The British Are Coming: The War for America, Lexington to Princeton, 1775-1777, helps us understand the enormous risks and sacrifices America’s founding required.

In my view, one the finest 4th of July speeches was given by President Ronald Reagan in 1986.  Here’s part of it that I think resonates especially these days:

My fellow Americans, it falls to us to keep faith with them and all the great Americans of our past. Believe me, if there’s one impression I carry with me after the privilege of holding for 5 1/2 years the office held by Adams and Jefferson and Lincoln, it is this: that the things that unite us — America’s past of which we’re so proud, our hopes and aspirations for the future of the world and this much-loved country — these things far outweigh what little divides us. And so tonight we reaffirm that Jew and gentile, we are one nation under God; that black and white, we are one nation indivisible; that Republican and Democrat, we are all Americans. Tonight, with heart and hand, through whatever trial and travail, we pledge ourselves to each other and to the cause of human freedom, the cause that has given light to this land and hope to the world.

Have a wonderful day, and God Bless the U.S.A.!


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