I celebrate this holiday along with millions of US citizens, but it is also with a sadness in my heart. The European side of my bloodline took the land from the Native side of my bloodline. Yes, I have ancestors who were here to greet the first boat people. Had they known that the influx of pale skins meant what it did, I suspect the Natives would have been less hospitable. In fact, as the realization dawned on my red ancestors that the intentions of my pale ancestors was less than honorable, a long struggle for possession of the land began. The presumption that the Europeans were more “civilized” than the Natives is extremely debatable. That they were more advanced in firearms is not in question, that’s why the side won that did. But, might does not make right.
Truly there are many things in the history of my country that are a source of shame. Our leaders have often made poor decisions for which we have paid dearly later down the road. The assistance given Saddam Hussein comes jumping to mind. I have seen much that says that “right” has not yet prevailed as the final decision maker in our Capitol. Much is still needed to even begin to make it “right” with the Natives of this land.
But . . . . . .I will celebrate the ideals for which that flag stands, even in a world where idealism is “old-fashioned”. Freedom for ALL, Truth, Justice, Love of family and friends, kindness to neighbors, both nationally and personally, and the right to pursue happiness in all that entails. I pray for equality for all, I pray for objectivity for all, and compassion for all. I pray this holiday brings you these things in abundance!