Tonight we will be attending the annual Fourth of July program at Verizon Wireless Amphitheater, a program by the Pacific Symphony featuring patriotic music and, of course, fireworks.  I love fireworks … going to the Fourth of July fireworks at Lighthouse Point in New Haven is one of my fondest childhood memories.  This year’s program is a tribute to The Eagles, which makes me wonder if I’ll be listening to Elevator Music versions of Heartache Tonight and Hotel California.  There’s also a tribute to composer John William’s 80th birthday in which, according to the amphitheater’s program, the audience will have a chance to text vote for the final piece of the first half: either “E.T.” or “Star Wars.  Seriously, do we have to do things to encourage people to use their smart phones during performances?  Yes, Muri, I’m going to leave my curmudgeon at home.  Did I mention there are fireworks?

Probably at several points in the program, I will find myself misty eyed.  During the traditional salute to our armed forces. I will not only be thankful for our soldiers present and past, I will miss my Dad.  As a crowd hater, it was a big deal for him to take us to the fireworks.  He was a patriot.  When the fireworks finale begins to fill the night sky with color and sound, I’ll tear up and catch a sob in my throat.  I do love fireworks.  And when they play America the Beautiful.  That song for me is the love song to the country I love.   We’ve been together for 68 years and it hasn’t always been perfect.  She hasn’t always done what I’d have wanted and there are moments I’d just as soon forget, except doing so makes it more likely that they’ll happen again.

I worry about my country.   I worry about the divisiveness that has infected our politics, the sense of entitlement of our people and the erosion of individual freedoms that comes with letting the government do everything.  That makes me more of a Republican than a Democrat but only because there’s no other option.  I’m not very happy with either party.  It’s been my observation that our government spends little time in the middle, in spite of all the talk about moderates.  It swings left and right like a pendulum … we are moderate only in the average … but we never swing so far either way that we can’t recover.  I want to believe that’s still true.  In Twelve Step meetings, there’s something called a Group Conscience.  From the outside, it looks like Robert’s Rules … motion, discussion, vote … but it is an expression of a belief that God speaks through the group members.   Looking at it that way, voting carries a responsibility.  I want to believe that even through the inflammatory rhetoric, representative democracy and the electoral system, God can speak through our votes.  After all. our national motto is, In God We Trust, and we used to say, one nation, under God.  That’s what I want to believe, that God can still speak through our votes.

Happy birthday, America.  God bless.

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4 Comments on “Independence”

  1. HattieBelle Says:

    Thanks for your great post and the inspiring video. Lee Greenwald always leaves me with a lump in my throat.

  2. wolfbernz Says:

    Happy Fourth Of July 🙂


  3. Oh, Bud!! You brought tears to MY EYES with this post. Enjoy your evening tonight. And, Happy 4th of July, to you.

  4. Randy Says:

    I agree, Bud. There is no place for a cell phone in any performance, especially a symphony performance. The encouragement of Tweats just seems wrong.
    Have a good time.

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