God Bless America

This Sunday, we celebrate the 4th of July, the date of our Declaration of Independence. On that date, we set out on a new road as a new nation.

We were always considered an experiment in democracy. An idea worth trying out. Could people govern themselves or not?

Over our years, as a nation, we have had our pros and cons. And through it all, I believe the experiment is worth continuing.

What are your views on the subject?

The Aftermath


The small skirmishes started in the mid-afternoon. Civilians who really were like mere children, not knowing how to execute a real campaign and having no idea of the barrages they would soon face.  As an observer to the melee that was about to happen, I was worried about the safety and well-being of all those who were about to start their battle for power.

The initial onset was confirmed with the pops and crackles of light ordnance.    This was the kid’s stuff really, overseen by the veterans who have had to face these actions time and time again. As the initial skirmishes grew through the afternoon, various units were reinforced with seasoned veterans of these actions.

About dinnertime, portable grills, and cook stoves were brought out to feed the troops before the events of the evening unfolded. Activities that they knew would happen. They had seen them before and knew that they would have to face them again. A little libation was used to celebrate where they had come from and their plans to be victorious this night. They just hoped and wished that everybody would still be together and in one piece in the morning.

After dinner, more types of ordnance were heard as various groups started to get anxious in anticipation, knowing that the time of action was growing nearer. The light ordnance was now beginning to grow louder, and soon, some aerial flares were added to the mixture, probing to see what might be accomplished. By the time dusk was near, several independent groups had started aerial barrages. Along with ground assaults and displays which kept everyone busy.

As dusk fell into night, government forces stepped in with the ‘Shock and Awe’ of an unbelievable aerial bombardment which went on for over a half an hour. Although one would think that alone would have been enough to quiet all the splinter groups, it was not to be. The gigantic show of force only whetted the appetite of all those ready to join the melee. Various methods for these aerial bombardments, including color, noise, and anything else they could use to heighten the senses.  Although many groups had given up the battle before midnight, some stalwart groups kept the fight going until well after one in the morning.

I inspected the battlefield the following morning. To my surprise, nothing had been burned, nothing had been destroyed, and the participating groups had even policed their own areas for debris. Thank goodness.

We have all survived another Fourth of July.

Thank you for being with me today. I hope to be with you again soon.

Rockets Red Glare

Tomorrow we celebrate the founding of our country.  It is the official day of our Declaration of Independence.  This is the summer holiday we look forward to enjoying each year.   

We honor those who initially stood to make our country a reality.  We also remember those who have fallen while defending our freedoms at home and abroad.  Everyone in America has paid the price in helping to make this country great. And we take time to remember those who have paid that ultimate sacrifice.

There will be sports games and picnics, reunions and remembrances and great cookouts. Along with hot dogs and hamburgers and potato salad, fantastic food from each nation that we come from will also be made and consumed. For although we are one country, we can never forget we are a nation of immigrants. Our forefathers have come from around the world, and because of this, we are a nation of delicious foods and great traditions.

Some people will camp, fish, hike, sail on a lake, waterski, or enjoy the beach. Others will go to a movie to stay cool in some of our warmer climates. Others will take part in family reunions because it’s always great to see those who make up your family tree and are a meaningful part of your life. There are many activities, and everyone gets to do what they want to do. This is to enjoy some of the things that our forefathers fought and died for us to have.

There will be parades in many places. I will never forget the parade I marched in after the first gulf war. During that war, I was assigned to a small island in the Atlantic. Because of the role we played, I was picked to march in a local parade. I had joined the Air Force during the Vietnam War, and the military wasn’t thought of very well back then, so I was a little nervous marching in the parade. Yet, when we stepped onto the parade route and started to march, there was a cheer from the crowd, and that cheer lasted the entire parade route. By the end of the parade, I knew I had found my new home.

For many, the best part of the Fourth of July does not happen until the sun goes down. We are talking about fireworks. Fireworks are bright and light up the sky in beautiful colors and look magnificent. Each year they add new types of fireworks with fancy designs that blaze across the sky. After the fireworks show itself is over, my neighborhood kicks in and by the end of the night, all you see is a blue haze from all the fireworks that they have set off. Everything from Roman candles to firecrackers.

It’s a beautiful sight to see, yet I really believe the professionals should do the fireworks. Along with people getting hurt while setting them off, and the potential for starting fires, there’s another thing to consider. Some of our combat veterans have problems with some of the very loud fireworks. If you had ever been on a receiving end of a howitzer barrage, you would understand.

Thank you for being with me today. I hope to be with you again tomorrow.

On this day, we celebrate the Declaration of Independence

Hi, because today is a holiday, I wanted to pass along this holiday note for the fourth.  We continue our normal blogs tomorrow.

Long distance relationships almost never last.  Mine did not last, although we are still good friends.  The relationship between England and the American Colonies did not last, although Britain and the United States are the best of friends now.

On this day, we celebrate the Declaration of Independence. Actually, it was signed on the second of July.  With no mass communications and no copiers in 1776, it took a couple of days to write copies and to get the word out.

It makes me wonder.  If long distance communication were available at that time, would it have made a difference?  Money is the root of many breakups. Could, however, the economic problems, between England and the Colonies be settled amicably before they grew so large that the two entities had no choice except the War of Independence and the legal separation, which was akin to a divorce of peoples?

This sounds like an academic quandary to be debated, and yet, we are on the cusp of the exact same problems in the very near future.  The people of Earth are planning to colonize the Moon and Mars.

The distance to the Moon and especially the distance to Mars will test the ability of communications. Not that communications are as slow as the 1700’s, there is a lag time that will start out as a nuisance.

Just as with England and the American Colonies. When the colonists of the Moon and Mars mine their ores, their focus will be on their work and not as much on the massive cost the Earth spent to get them to their colonies and provide for them as they began.  The Earth, like England, may be in a rush to reclaim the money spent to set up the colonists.

Special care needs to be planned for the missions to ensure a premium is placed on collaboration and communication.  These must be real communication and collaboration processes, not just buzz words.

Understanding what lead up to the Declaration of Independence 241 years ago is vital to future plans of colonization.  George Santayana reminded us why, when he said, “Those who cannot remember their past are condemned to repeat it.” (Wikipedia, last updated, 2/13/2006)

A special thank you to Paul Nielsen for his discussions and suggestions on this blog.  Thank you.

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