Happy 4th of July
Today was the first 4th of July that I've spent outside the U.S. I've taken to listening to NPR online, at least partly because I've missed hearing American accents. This morning during 'Morning Edition' they did a reading of the Declaration of Independence, with patriotic music in the background. Even though I was aware of the staged cheesiness of it, and even though I bristled at the bit about Indian savages, and even though the document was written by a slaveowner - I felt a patriotic tingle down my spine during the reading, and a rush of excitement with the last words, "we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor." I sometimes still get that feeling listening to the Star-Spangled Banner. One of my clearest memories from high school is the band playing the Star-Spangled Banner at the end of an end-of-year concert in the school gym, and at "and the home of the brave," a sudden unfurling of a huge American flag on the wall.
Which goes to show that American patriotism is not the exclusive domain of rightwingers.