Friday, July 3rd, 2009
Happy Independence Days
“The second day of July, 1776, will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires and illumination, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forevermore.” –John Adams to his wife Abigail on July 3.
I prefer to mark the time with a viewing of The Omega Glory episode of Star Trek (preview embedded below, full episode at Hulu). Okay, maybe not seriously, but I did watch the whole thing at 3 a.m. after waking up for the umpteenth time with my son.
The clip remarks on the US Constitution rather than Declaration of Independence, but I was struck by an interpretation linked on a social network that read, “William Shatner denounces torture, says [the words of the] constitution ‘must apply to everyone or they mean nothing.’”
The episode itself is about the Yangs (Yankees) fighting for freedom against the Coms (Communists) on yet another alien world that inexplicably shares most of Earth’s history, except this one has been ravaged by biological warfare and exists now in tribal-like conditions.
I have to side with Kirk who thinks our rights and freedoms apply to everyone, not just US citizens, otherwise our society has devolved into the worst Star Trek episode imaginable.
What’s my point in getting pseudo-political with a campy Captain Kirk video? I suppose only that when we ask our men and women in uniform to fight on our behalf that we question and analyze and demand that our leaders send them into harm’s way only for the best of reasons. They deserve no less than for us to support them in this way when they risk their lives in our name.
I’ll be out attending a festival and watching fireworks like everyone else on July Fourth, thankful that I’m able to do so in a safe, nurturing community. But on some level, every holiday is a solemn one as long as we have neighbors halfway around the world living and working in danger.