Well, I'm not going to lie. Yet again tonight I was unable to recite the Pledge as everyone around me stood and saluted just before the fireworks went off.
This country was founded on some strong beliefs, but those have been sorely tested and twisted over time, by ratty politicians and narrow-minded people who have forgotten the key words that are recited every day but with hollow convictions: "with liberty and justice for all." We all shout a lot about freedom, yet so many in this country do not have the same freedoms that I do. Many are convicted by fellow citizens for differing beliefs. That saddens me. but we are making progress.
I wouldn't be an American Girl if I simply sat by, waved a flag in one hand, a firecracker in the other, and smiled, pretending for one day that we are all equal. I choose instead to speak my truth and be thankful for the right... yes, the right... to say just about anything I damn well please.
And so, when this day of Independence passes over me, I will focus on that. We are an immature nation, but still better than most. When we do not provide better for our criminals than for our downtrodden, when all have the right to love another in the eyes of the law, when other worships are accepted as equal, when priority is placed on education and not celebrity, and when our militaries are not dying to fight battles not our own, I shall recite with meaning. Until then, I offer this hope for a better tomorrow for my country, and a better one the day after that.