Happy Fourth of July to those of my readers that are celebrating it! It makes some of my friends laugh, but Fourth of July means a little more to me. You see, I was born in the bicentennial year of America. I was also raised in one of the Thirteen Original Colonies, Pennsylvania.
While being raised, I was taken to places that are test questions to most people of out country, but I actually walked there. Pittsburgh has Old Economy. I remember being taken there for School Trips. It is like walking back to the past. I remember a lesson I learned there. One that ever since I have been interested in architecture. (Well besides bathrooms. That has been a life long fascination. And one, if you have read much of my fanfiction, I am still passionate about. lol!) The question came to us when we visited for the holidays. We were being served hot cider while seeing dried flowers hanging from the roof, the whole room smelling like you would expect the holidays to smell. Nutmeg, cinnamon, apples and pumpkin Pie. Cookies, maple syrup. All with a background of the wood fire in the fire-place making all my friends and I warm. There was a woman working on a spindle while smiling at us as the older gentleman looked out among us. He finally asks, “Does anyone here know what the nickname of our state is?”
Many kids raised their hands and he points to one of them, the little boy stood proudly and told him, “Keystone State”
The Older man nods gravely. The little boy sits down grinning. He then asks us (And we were either in 1st or 2nd grade.) “Does anyone know what that means?”
And we all sat there mute. None of us knew what it meant, just that we are proud that we can name the states and their nicknames. Who knew it meant something?
The old man nods, gets up and walks behind to an arch. He stands below the central stone and proceeds to tell us, “The Keystone is an architectural name for the center of an Arch…” He then proceeds to tells us that the Keystone is actually placed last and all the other stones rely on it to let them stand up. He then told us, “When the Revolutionary War started, it started here in our state. Everything had built up to the point something had to give, and in Philadelphia, they declared their independence. Pennsylvania was the Keystone keeping the nation together at the time. It served as the capital.”
For some reason that has always remained in my head. I have visited since then, Williamsburg, Jamestown, Yorktown. My Mother’s family was born and bred in West Virginia and we visited many times. My Great Grandmother is strongly thought of to be native American. She never had a single strand of grey hair, and was the very image of a Native American older woman.
But no matter where I go (And I have lived in AZ and TX. Visited MANY states either moving from PA to TX or my trips between TX and AZ, or AZ and Reno.) I still remember those earlier trips, where I walked down the same streets as Washington. And on every Fourth of July, I remember that people fought for something unknown then. It was an idea presented by Ancient Greeks. Something that was craved by our own ancestors, no matter how far back you can trace your lineage being in America. Because face it. Someone in your past, maybe even yourself, wanted the same thing. A say in their own life. Freedom to say what you want without the complication of saying it in secret.
I am very proud of my family, we have family that has been in the military. Marines and Air Force. We have cops in the family. I am related to MANY firefighters, and am proud of every single one of them. I am proud to say I am a Christian, and happy that I don’t have to say what type I am. I am also proud of my heritage, being half russian, and the other American. I tease and joke with my husband’s family of being Polish. And oh.. the many jokes we can come up for being blonde, blue-eyed AND Polish.
But none of this would be because if some men had not been brave enough to say this is wrong, being ruled from another country, to have to pay taxes without equal representation, to have no say so in their lives, everything a whim of a king. If those same men had not been willing to stand up for themselves. To give a try to what a philosopher in Ancient Times came up for as an ideal for a perfect way of life to him, actually letting the people rule, a go for running a complete nation, I would not be here. I would not be married. I would not be looking forward to voting time to get someone I hate out of office. Someone I can even say I hate. How many countries can you say that about their leaders without laying in bed scared for a knock on the door?
So please, take today and take a minute out from your barbeque’s, your time playing in the waves, you partying in your freedom, and think of those who over 200 years ago, made a stand for you to be free. And say Thank You. And while you are at it, maybe say Thank You to those who fight everyday to allow you to keep that right. Because there is no other country like ours out there, and they make sure that those that hate us for what they don’t have, don’t take it away.
For myself, thank you to those who gave me everything. I am a mouthy person who likes to say what I want to, and I GLADLY thank all of you that have fought to allow me that right.
God Bless America!!!!!