Independence Day and The Gettysburg Address (slightly edited)

I was thinking about what Independence and freedom mean to me. Today is, after all, America’s Birthday. I guess I should warn all my dudes that I’m going to get a little bit political here. These are my views. If any of you have different views, I absolutely support your right to express them. Use my comments section as much as you like. I love a good discussion, a debate even.

I’ve always liked Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, especially the opening. I’ve copied the speech and I’m going to change some of the words to reflect how I see our country today. Everything in italics is my changes.

As you enjoy the holiday, eating bbq, spending time with family and friends, watching fireworks, whatever you do, think about our country and what’s been happening. Is this what everyone fought for? Does the government act on the will of the people? Is this how we want the world to view us, all of us, as Americans?

Twelve score and two years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men (I was going to change men to people, but in 1776 it was only men, and white men at that, they were talking about) are created equal.

(I’m going to leave all of this about the civil war the way it was written. But, think about all the mass shootings. Think about all the unarmed people shot by police officers, think about all the ugly, hateful words, think about the angry tweets… We may not be in an actual civil war right now, but there are some very serious divisions in our country)
Now we are engaged in a great civil war testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.
But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate — we can not consecrate — we can not hallow — this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here(oh, but it DID), but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work(STILL unfinished) which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation, (removing under God), shall have a new birth of freedom — ~~~>>and that government of the people, by the people, for the people,<<~~ shall not perish from the earth.
Abraham Lincoln
November 19, 1863

We need to remember that the government belongs to each and every one if us. Those men and women serve US. That’s the way it’s supposed to work. I don’t feel like the federal government is serving my wishes. Not. At. All. I would never wish to have children ripped from their parents’ arms because they walked into our country asking for help. Hoping for a better life. What is written on the Statue Of Liberty… Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door! THAT is always what America stood for. THAT is what made so many people proud of our country.

The things done by the Federal government in my name (and every one of yours) does NOT make me proud.

I believe in the people of this country. Most people you meet just want to live their lives, love their families, laugh with their friends, even help their neighbors. We let the government get away from us though. We need to use our voices to demand change. We need to VOTE. We need to take our government back. It belongs to us, The People!

Stay safe and have fun my dudes. Think about what this holiday is about.