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What Does Independence Day Mean to You?

I do love apple pie. Homemade apple pie with vanilla ice cream. That warm crust and cinnamon and the superbly cold ice cream all mixed together in one enormous bite. Followed by, really, only a few more enormous bites until it’s gone and I mourn in a horribly misguided, self-indulgent way.

I think of apple pie when I think of July 4th, Independence Day. I think of a hot, sunny day, family, friends, tons of laughs and tons of food.

I have to admit that for the most part, although I do always think of the conflict and the history that led to our break from England, I haven’t always given a lot of thought to the fight.

This Sunday, before the Tuesday holiday this year, I’m reading Nathaniel Philbrick’s book, Bunker Hill. And I’m not thinking about apple pie at all.

It’s the fight, my friends. We forget what an extraordinary, exhausting, brutal fight it was. We forget that the people of Boston, with names that are indelibly associated with our history and names that we’ve forgotten, led by Adams and Hancock, Joseph Warren and others, struggled and strived for decades. And that the ten years leading to the battle of Bunker Hill was devastatingly divisive for both “patriots” and “loyalists”.

We also forget that as much as the fight was for rights granted to us by God of self-determination, liberty, and to be secure in our homes, our not-very-long ago ancestors were also fighting for their lives and their livelihood. They were fighting for money and their hunger for greater and greater prosperity.

And they fought from the plain, unvarnished anger and seething resentment that comes from someone, anyone, telling you that they’re better, or wealthier, or simply stronger than you.

This Independence Day, don’t forget the fight.
Don’t forget that it was always about the fight.

And remember that the fight for our liberty, our privacy, our right to control ourselves and our future and the future of our families is never-ending.

Happy Independence Day!