July 4th is my favorite holiday. By far. It’s one of the few holidays that Hallmark hasn’t made into a marketing tool. I love the fireworks and the barbecues and the overwhelming pride people feel for you on Independence Day. When I think of you, I don’t think of your flaws or your blemishes, but rather your triumphs and overcomings.
You stand among the few countries who still hold personal freedoms above government agendas. At least, you usually do. See, lately, I don’t recognize you. The quarrels and spars among your leaders leave bruises on your reputation. Your people are offended so easily I’m not allowed to use pronouns or voice my humble opinion without being torn to shreds. But at the end of the day, you are unique.
The liberties we have in you are second to none and wherever we are, your countrysides and urban streets are like no other. No matter how often I want to run far from the politics or bitterness here, the thought doesn’t linger long when I remember nowhere else would I truly have the freedom to run.
Your forefathers planned out a path for you that could only take you so far. They often argued, but these modern squabbles seem like another level of ridiculousness. My faith in your future being safe in the hands of modern legislatures is dwindling with every tweet and sex scandal that hits the front page. How did you get here? Where did your guides go wrong?
Was it in 1838 when a trail of tears burned through you? Was it a short while later when people who were bought and sold like animals saw a light at the end of the tunnel that caused a bloody war between brothers? Was it during the Second World War when you set free the deadliest bomb in history for the sake of peace? Or was it 1973 when it became acceptable to kill innocent children before they took their first breath?
Alexander Hamilton helped raise you, and in doing so he came to a conclusion. He had an “optimistic view of America’s potential, coexisting with an essentially pessimistic view of human nature. His faith in Americans never quite matched his faith in America itself.” I guess this sums up how many of us feel here recently. Most days I want to hide in a hole and never utter another word about the Constitution or our rights or why the government should stay small. But then there are the days when you absolutely astound me with your goodness that only comes from God Himself.
Days when a school in Denver offers lunches throughout the summer so none of their pupils go to bed with hungry stomachs. Days when dental offices are offering your veterans free exams and treatments for their toothaches. Days when the nice lady at the coffee shop says she likes my hair even after a rough morning. Days when small towns come together not only in the face of tragedy, but when most everything is right and they simply want to hold each other close.
Those are the days I am reminded of why I care. Why I care that certain rights aren’t infringed, or that the government stays out of my business, or that a child has the right to utter their first words. I care because I have faith in the people who make you the America I know and love. The bureaucrats on Capitol Hill may lead you in certain directions, but at your core, you are fireworks and barbecues and happiness and family. And I never want to become a person that stops paying attention because that is the very moment I stop caring. I would have failed you in every way if I did that.
You are a beautiful thing that cannot be contained and never should be. I pray that you return to the foundations you were built on, but even if it takes a little longer than I care for, your people will always remain your own.
I love you dearly.
Savanna Graves first found a passion for politics and government on the 2016 campaign trail for her father. Since then she has been increasingly involved with Turning Point USA, Future Female Leaders, and PragerU, organizations that spread the message of small government and capitalism. She plans on attending Liberty University in the fall of 2018 to study political science and journalism. Views expressed in this column are hers and do not reflect those of The Flash as a whole.