McConnor's Corner
Remembering The Fourth
By Sean McConnor
Jul 1, 2002 - 12:20:00 PM

Jenna Skarzenski / Canyon News
UNITED STATES — The other day in Highland Park, I looked up the main boulevard and recalled the 4th of July Parade we had in 1976 to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence. At the time, we were in the midst of a presidential election, our country was still divided over Watergate, and uncertain economic times seem to loom ahead. Nevertheless, the bands still played, the floats passed by, and we looked optimistically to the future.

Today, the first Independence Day after 9/11, we find our country at war against terror, the stock market bouncing up and down like a ping pong ball, and, according to polls, the nation is still divided politically. Everyday we are inundated with warnings about another attack from terrorists. Today, we look with uncertainty to the future.

This shouldn't be a time of worry because the system of government, announced on a hot Philadelphia day 226 years ago, is working. Examples of freedom abound everywhere we look and listen. The Valley wants to secede from LA because of a host of grievances. The Supreme Court rules on the death penalty. An appeals court addresses the issue of God and government in the Pledge of Allegiance case and withholds final judgment until all sides are heard again. The U.S. military fights those who would deny us 'the pursuit of happiness'. Our federal justice department seeks to try those in corporate America who would create economic injustice upon us like our former rulers who lived across the sea. The list of a vibrant nation of freedom goes on.
Some of the happenings in America upset us dearly. We oppose them and we can.

That is the beauty of what happened 226 years ago. We oppose, we change, and we create anew. So on Independence Day, we can proclaim once again the ancient refrain, "God still reigns in Heaven and the Republic stands." And, I still hear the cheers of joy as the float in the Highland Park parade with lady liberty passed us, holding her beacon of light proudly toward the heavens above.

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