Countdown to Independence Day

I’m proud to be an American. I’m proud to live in a nation, where even if you don’t agree, you can still get along. I’m proud to live in a nation where power can shift without the people taking a bloodbath, and where school children and CEO’s live in the same neighborhoods. I’m proud to live in a nation where people willingly join the armed forces, not because they have been brainwashed or conscripted, but because they feel a sense of honor and respect and pride . . . things that so few people actually remember.

Growing up, I have been immersed in everything Americana. But a love for a nation cannot be learned. Sure, we always have an American flag out front on Memorial Day, and, like any good southern family, we eat BBQ on the Forth of July. Growing up, Al and Ethan have always had to take their hats off during the National Anthem, and I have had to stand along side them with my hand over my heart. I have been taught respect for my country and for those who serve to protect and defend her, but the love for America that runs so deep within me is something that my parents couldn’t teach me even if they wanted to. Love isn’t something that can be learned.

In the few weeks leading up to Independence Day, I’m going to reflect on freedom and faith and America, and hopefully tie all three together. What has always amazed me is how deeply the Christian faith is embedded into America, and yet how people think that they can separate God and politics. Because, as I am hoping to prove, they are so closely intertwined, they cannot be pulled asunder.

I have to do research for most of my posts, but, by far, this is the most I have ever done. I know most 16 year girls don’t spend their summer flipping through notes from their AP US History class or googling stuff about Madison and Hancock. But I’m not like most girls.

Okay, do me a favor and think back to your 5th grade field trip to Washington DC. Remember the Washington Monument? It always took my breath away. I’m sure you remember how construction for it had to be stopped because of the war, which is why it was built with two different kinds of stone. I’m sure you remember the tiny window at the top and the President it represents. But what I don’t think you remember is the words that are written at the top.

“Laus Deo” meaning ‘Praise be to God’

That little fact about the monument never seems to make it into the History books. Even though, it should. Because it isn’t just a “little fact”. It was the very heart of everything that George Washington was. It was the very heart of everything that America was. I think its time for America to return to her roots.

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