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Different Perspective To Honor July 4th

July 2, 2020

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This has been a most unique year, and James keeps reminding me we are only halfway through 2020.  While each July 4th I post about some historical trivia or a commentary on the national holiday I will veer off into a new direction this year given where we are in this nation.

We started off in January with a presidential impeachment process, drifted into a pandemic, careened into a racially charged protest season,  and let us not forget peppered throughout is the election season.  So given this upcoming holiday weekend, I  want us to ponder what the Founding Fathers might ask of us since they have already given so much to this Republic.

When I read of their lives and the period of history which they dominated one of the most obvious aspects that shines out is the enlightened nature of these men.  They did not just wake up smart and conversant in the weighty topics of their day.  They read…and read…and read.

A phrase that has stayed with me from time spent at the Library of Congress is how Thomas Jefferson referred to books as “mental furniture”.   He would bemoan the time required to do other things that removed him from his journey into books.

Famed historian and powerful writer David McCullough expressed how John Adams adored reading.  Along with seeing his family when returning from his many trips, he would also be thrilled to again be reunited with his books.

Such accounts from these men about books and reading could be written about in many paragraphs here, but the lesson we can take from them is that the path to knowledge and furtherance of our ideas starts with education.  And the finest first step is within the pages of a book.

I fully understand the constraints we experience given COVID-19.  Many people are tied much closer to home and perhaps feeling that the summer fun that usually accompanies the 4th has been severely constrained.  I will not pretend otherwise.  But I do offer a remedy for the holiday and a way to honor the Founders who shaped a nation and a system of government that still evolves and thrives.

Almost everyone has a smartphone and book reading apps are numerous.  (I use Libby on my iPad and though most of my reading is done with an actual book, there are times when it is cheaper and easier to get what I want digitally.)   Here are just a couple reading options that I have completed over the years and highly recommend.

George Washington

John Adams

Alexander Hamilton

The Vineyard Of Liberty

American Creation 

American Gospel 

All the answers to our times will not be found in these types of books, but we might all do better with one another going forward if we had more of a foundation of understanding about our history before we called out the next epithet.  Regardless from which side of the road we stand.  If we read more we might just discover we all are on the same road.

Just something to ponder this July 4th.

And thank you to our Founding Fathers!

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