On this day, brave men decided to commit treason against the Crown in a bid to form a new country, free from tyranny and oppression. It didn’t come quickly, a lot of blood was paid, and it wasn’t perfect. It took a few more skirmishes and one great war between brothers before things started to come together. And to this day we are still going through growing pains. No, this country isn’t perfect. I recall the story of a man who came to live here from Cuba. He felt sorry for us, not because this country was bad or because it was full of strife. He felt bad because if this country failed, there was nowhere for Americans to go. He saw that this was the last refuge, the place of opportunity, where someone can come and have the chance to try again in freedom. So many of us take that for granted. Just a year ago, Britain was going through a tumultuous decision: whether to stay or leave the European Union. The country was split between those who would prefer to do things as a sovereign country without the oversight of the EU, and those who preferred the oversight which afforded them a measure of security. A friend of mine from Chester told me that she now understands the American Revolution. No, she didn’t compare the vote to our war. She simply came to understand that it wasn’t cool to be ruled over by an entity that gave you nothing but required your servitude (taxation without representation, anyone?). I told her it wasn’t too late to go dump boxes of tea into the Thames. Our country is an experiment, a wonderful experiment still growing and still learning. Yes mistakes still happen, and we get things wrong once in a while. But I am so glad we have the freedom to make mistakes, and learn from them.
Happy Birthday, USA.