I almost entered an essay contest this week. The ad I saw was on an internet site and when I clicked on the link, I discovered that for a modest $50 donation I would be eligible to submit a 250 word essay entitled, “What Independence Day Means to Me.” If I were to be so lucky as to win, I would be the recipient of a pair of tickets to a game of baseball at Fenway Park to watch the Red Sox with Senator Scott Brown.
There are only two reasons I didn’t enter this contest: First, I’m a hard core Cincinnati Reds fan and second, I would much rather send $50 to Michelle Bachman than Scott Brown. So, in commemoration of the 4th of July, I will bypass the contest and write the 250 words for you! There’s one condition–since I haven’t done anything like this since the 6th grade, you have to go easy on me!
What Independence Day Means to Me
Whenever I think of Independence Day (more commonly known as “the 4th” here in the United States), my mind conjures up an image of a 100 passengers on the deck of a small sailing ship on a blustery day in November of the year 1620. They are braced against the bite of the wind and roughly half of them are huddled around a table where a document lies, anchored by a large black Bibleand flanked by an inkwell and quill pen.
I am witnessing the signing of the Mayflower Compact-these folks are signing a covenant binding them together in the first act of self-government in this strange new world. Fast forward about 150 years to a room full of weary but bright eyed patriots lined up to sign yet another document-this time one that would declare independence from British tyranny and lay the foundation for America as we know it.
Independence Day is not a holiday declared just to reminisce about days gone by, but a time to actively reflect on the price paid for freedom by those who’ve defended it and continue to do so. It is an opportunity to consider how freedom has contributed to the quality of life we enjoy; a day to give thanks. It is a day to renew our commitment to the first settlers’ promise-to be a “shining light on a hill.”
Freedom is not doing what we please; it is having the freedom to do what we ought. –Karol Józef Wojtyła (John Paul II)
P.S. By now you must have seen the paper or the e-mail announcing my resignation as chairman. However, I am not resigning as a citizen with a job to do. Serving as chairman was a brief tenure as a citizen politician. I volunteered to run for a Party Chairman because I thought it was a suitable way for me to use some of my experiences as a business person to further the cause(s) I believe in. I won’t stop working for those causes; it will just be in a different capacity—as an entrepreneur and father with concerns for a bright future full of opportunities for my two sons. If you’d like to stay connected, please reply to this e-mail and I will add you to my personal list. Thanks for your support and friendship. I will be “seeing you around” as the summer campaign season gets into full swing!
Have a safe and relaxing Fourth of July