Yesterday I sat with two women in my home making centerpieces for our neighborhood Independence Day dinner (to be held on July 2nd.) One of the women emigrated from England 30 years ago. She became an American a few weeks ago. She deferred becoming a citizen until her mother died, an event that occurred earlier in the year.
On July 4th, Gari and I will be going to a barbecue hosted by another women whose roots are in England. She is Gari's brother's "lady friend." I'm amused that two British women figure prominently in my Independence Day celebrations this year.
I think that the United States of America is a wonderful country despite its many complex problems. I can think of no other country in which I'd like to be living. (I suspect that I'd have similar feelings towards England if it was my birthplace and my home, but not China or another place in which the sphere of personal freedom is substantially smaller than I enjoy.)
To freedom then, this fragile state in which we live, usually taking it for granted, as basic as the air we breathe; we notice it only when it is foul. Today (and possibly always) there is a threat to our freedom in actions done in the name of personal security. The balance between the two is tricky. In the past few weeks, we've been made aware of the use of telephone records to fight against terrorism. I haven't formulated a solid opinion about this. I know also that a reasoned position could be obliterated by a flamboyant terrorist incident. Our future is at the mercy of a madman or a group of them I suppose that this is the story of our fast paced time.
But for now - I rejoice - in my country, for my country, for all of humans who have been fortunate to live in societies where freedom is as basic as the air they breathe.
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