Happy 4th of July, one day late. We woke up to a foggy, drizzly sky, but it cleared up enough by afternoon for our annual July 4th parade to wind its way through downtown. Fire trucks, police cars, kids on decorated bikes, and a variety of colorful floats supported the theme of "Faces of Freedom." After a traditional bbq at the hotel, Rich and I stayed up late to watch the fireworks display. Since it does not get dark here till midnight, we can't have fireworks till then! For a small town, we have quite an amazing fireworks show, as we seem to remind ourselves every year. Here are some photos of the parade and the fireworks.
1) funky house on the parade route
2) kids on bikes
3) one of the floats
4) "freedom=independence from oil!"
Many of the floats equated "faces of freedom" with war and weapons, displaying photos of war planes and soldiers as the central focus of their decorations. It made me wonder why people seem to think that freedom only comes through violence and patriotism means blindly supporting our country, no matter what the consequences might be. To me, patriotism means trying to make our country the best it can be, even if that means disagreeing with the government (not a popular point of view these days, I know). I found these quotes that give us some food for thought.
Edward R. Murrow: We must not confuse dissent with disloyalty. When the loyal opposition dies, I think the soul of America dies with it.
Molly Ivins: It is possible to read the history of this country as one long struggle to extend the liberties established in our Constitution to everyone in America.
Pablo Casals: The love of one's country is a splendid thing. But why should love stop at the border?
Eleanor Holmes Norton: The only way to make sure people you agree with can speak is to support the rights of people you don't agree with.
George Orwell: In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.
Let's all be true patriots and speak truth to power.