July 4th is a federal holiday. Many take the time to celebrate the birth of our nation during Independence Day and many simply enjoy a day off work.
My husband and I recently attended a celebration at a local church. There was a large choir accompanied by an orchestra. Songs about freedom, our country and God were sung. There was prayer for our national and state leaders, the posting of colors and recognition of those who had served or were serving in the armed forces of our nation.
The service was uplifting, not because of nationalism, but because of unity. Those in attendance had come together to worship God and show gratitude for living in a land of freedom.
Unfortunately, after making the same observation and trying to ignore it, my husband had to mention the appearance of those in attendance. We all seemed to be “older.”
There were few young adults or children observed. I’m not sure the reason for the lack of youth, whether it was in relation to God or patriotism, but the noticeable absence of younger people was a disappointment. (Not to mention the fact that my husband now seems comfortable lumping us in with the “older” crowd.)
However, the event held on a Monday night was well attended with few empty seats to be found. The audience sang along with many tunes, applauded the service members in attendance and appeared to be in unity. And we can certainly use more unity in our nation today. By appearances, I fear our country is more likely to be torn apart from within than to be conquered from without.
Whether you celebrate America’s independence or just enjoy the day you hopefully have off work, I would ask you to take a moment to reflect on the freedoms we enjoy. I also hope our collective gratitude leads people towards common ground as collaborators of solutions, rather than to respective corners as contenders.