We celebrate July 4 because of the signing of the Declaration of Independance
. In 1776, we began a grand experiment. Many people believed it was impossible, that we would never defeat the British Army, yet the Colonists decided they must fight. They fought against unfair and dictatorial rule, actions which they believed were immoral, and a violation of God's intended freedom for man.
The signers of the Declaration pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor to one another. They pledged to the dream of Independance. No one yet had defeated England and it was very likely that the Rebellion would be put down, those that participated executed, and the British Rule would continue.
It is impossible for one of us today to consider what effort was undertook to even consider this action. We see thousands every year who take our liberty for granted, and denounce Patriots as fools, liars, or worse. The signers of the Declaration of Independance understood that they faced death for Treason, to be hung by the neck until dead, for putting their names on that paper.
Liberals love to denounce Nationalism
, and Patriotism
. They denounce these ideals as foolish, immature, and old fashioned. They denounce people who identify themselves with such words as worse than that. They love to call Patriots Nazi's, Fascists, and often much much worse. While we ignore the sacrifice of our founders, Men and Women who risked life, limb, and honor to create a new nation in favor of those same people's mistakes.
Our History isn't all glory and honor, we Americans have made mistakes. We corrected as many of those mistakes however. Sure, many of the Founding Fathers were Slave Owners. It was common, and contrary to what Alex Halley wrote in Roots, the owners cared for their slaves. There were Black Slave owners too, in Europe the practice was called Indentured Servants. However, the slaves were freed. There is no one alive today who is a slave. There is no one alive who owned a slave. The practice of Slavery is now History, not Current Events. Yet, we are perpetually reminded that we once owned slaves. Sure, and your point would be?
We decided to form a more perfect Union
than we had, not a perfect nation, but a better one than we had, and we achieved the impossible. We defeated the British, and forced a surrender. We had to fight again in 1812
, but that is also HISTORY, not Current Events.Howard Zinn
, a Liberal, even a Socialist, calls for us to lay down the flags
, and denounce Nationalism. I will point out that Mr. Zinn served in WWII as a Bombadier, and that service, much as Jack Murtha's is deserving of some respect. However, much like Mr. Murtha, it is not an excuse for his current undertaking.On this July 4, we would do well to renounce nationalism and all its symbols: its flags, its pledges of allegiance, its anthems, its insistence in song that God must single out America to be blessed.
Is not nationalism -- that devotion to a flag, an anthem, a boundary so fierce it engenders mass murder -- one of the great evils of our time, along with racism, along with religious hatred?
These ways of thinking -- cultivated, nurtured, indoctrinated from childhood on -- have been useful to those in power, and deadly for those out of power.
Mr. Zinn later cites "abuses" that have dishonored this nation, including the standard claims of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Mr. Zinn, I suggest you are a fool.
The bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki saved millions of lives. The Japanese had taken to arming girls with Bamboo spears to fight off the invaders. If we had not bombed the Japanese into surrender, we would have had to kill Men, Women, and Children all the way to The emperors Palace, and probably beyond. The bad thing about a war is simple, you have to kill. Once a War is started, one side must win, and one side must lose. I prefer to be on the winning side, helping our former enemy back to his feet, and showing him the benefit of Democracy, and helping form a new more perfect union. That is the American Way, once we defeat an enemy, helping to reform a working nation phoenix like from the ashes of the destroyed Government. With a little luck, in the next Generation, that former enemy will be a valued and steadfast ally for the next challenge.
Mr. Zinn fails to realize that every Generation of Americans until recently, has been better than the one before. President Wilson couldn't get his ideals through, and the League of Nations was doomed before it began, and we were drawn into a second World War. We learned from that mistake, and made sure that we didn't have those conditions after that second War. We prayed that it would be the last war, we were wrong. Korea was next, and again we made mistakes
. Again we learned from those mistakes. In Viet-Nam, the Liberals were overjoyed. With the assistance of the American Communist Movement, the North Vietnamese were able to sign a peace treaty, and then break that treaty. We try hard not to repeat those mistakes, and I have to wonder why a Historian would ignore the lesson of Nevil Chamberlain
. I would think that the lessons of the futility of appeasement were too obvious to be missed, yet they are missed.
Mr. Zinn may feel flags and Nationalism are foolish, however I promise you if we toss ours down, some Dictator will raise his own flag over our heads for us. Mr. Zinn may not mind that, but I most certainly would.