I struggle with this post every year, and this year is no exception. I have trouble putting words together in a way that accurately and adequately expresses both my love for this country and my fear for its direction. I want to commemorate the adoption of our country's Declaration of Independence and celebrate our history, government, traditions, and above all else, national and individual freedoms. I also want - need - to show respect and support for those to whom freedom has not yet been granted.
On June 19th I read quite a few posts and comments - primarily on social media - about how Juneteenth wasn't a real holiday. The information shared and statements made in these posts and comments were not accurate, nor were they kind, and I found myself frustrated that I didn't know how to respond.
I'm not one to engage on social media, so even if I had known how to respond, I'm not sure I would have done so in that arena. I do, however, feel like today and here are the right time and place to say something, however brief, and I was encouraged to do so by (somewhat surprisingly) Pharrell Williams.
"On July 4, 1776, not everybody was free and celebrating their independence. So here's our day. And if you love us, it'll be your day too."
So today, as we celebrate this great nation's independence and freedom, I want to acknowledge that independence and freedom came later for many of our citizens...and that there is still work to be done.
If you're planning on playing with fireworks tonight, please read the fireworks safety link below. I wrote this post for the Red Cross a few years ago, but the information still rings true. Be safe! Fireworks 411, So You Don't Need 911.