As we approach yet another Fourth of July
it is good to be reminded
that all that flickers are not sparklers
and that which brightens this night of celebration
is not just an explosive display in the sky.
The birthday candles on our nation's cake
are flaming reminders of a much-decorated past.
They illuminate a long and winding road
reaching back in time revealing a rich history.
But the candlelight that dances in the wind
also exposes smudges in the icing
for which we should be ashamed.
We are old enough to know better
than to leave God out
of our public displays of affection.
After all, it is because of Him that
our nation is better known
(in spite of what we sometimes think)
for our successes more than for our failures.
Good fortune has marked our past
and it frames our future.
Yes, we are a fortunate lot.
An envied democracy.
A kaleidoscopic array of colors, cultures and creeds
refracted by a prism of countless opportunities.
A spectrum of humanity
attesting to the creativity of our Creator.
With gratitude to the God
who conceived our amazing country
and birthed us to be a beacon to the world,
we celebrate the past
even as we contemplate the future.
We are America's children
pledging allegiance to its flag
as well as to its core values
of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
May the candles on our nation's cake never go out!