Freedom for all

We enjoy the picnics, people, pets and parades with the fire trucks, police, marching bands and floats (I prefer root beer). Yes, even the politicians are friendly and energetic, never missing a chance to see us and remind us to vote.

The “oohs” and “aahs” of fireworks delight us, but if you have served in a war-zone, you have seen and heard enough. You may not be thrilled at one in the morning, and next door may be too close. Do you understand the consequences of playing with fire…works?

All my great-grandparents came from Sweden for jobs, land and religious expression free of government control. What country expresses freedom today?

President Trump rejected former President Obama’s Cuban agreement. My eye caught the flag neatly displayed behind him, with the words “E Pluribus Unum” (Latin) from top-left to bottom-right. “Out of many, One!” This motto was adopted in 1776 for 13 states to become “one” but was changed in 1956 to “In God We Trust.”

The immigrants in 1776 (2.5 million) came from England, Scotland, Ireland, France, Holland and Germany. I wonder if we are Americans when we include our ancestry? Is an American Indian the same as an Indian-American? Is an Asian-American an Asian, or an American? My son is from India, but is he an Indian, an American or a Swede?

Vice President Gore may have been accurate in 1994: “We can build a collective civic space large enough for all our separate identities, that we can be E Pluribus Unum—Out of one, many.”

The motto is becoming united as one nation, not one nation becoming fragmented into many smaller units. We live and talk as divisive people and yet want unity in whatever cause we promote. Churches are good examples in disagreements, when they come together for “a greater good.” Each church has its own belief system, but when one is challenged, others rally around.

When one city dismissed their police force, the people rallied around the common goal of re-instating the force. Students also left class to march for the cause. Some citizens might welcome disbanding the police, but ultimately we need them to monitor and promote the welfare of all.

Freedom requires the Asian-Indian to join with the American Indian, and the Swedish-American, Polish-American, Ghanaian-American, African-American, Asian American, Iranian-American, Samoan-American, Cuban-American, and yes, the Gay-American and unite together as Americans, “E Pluribus Unum” –the many of us, becoming united as one. We stand to gain more when we agree in principle! “A house divided against itself will not stand.”  Let Freedom Ring–For all of us! Have an enjoyable and happy Independence Day!

Dean Skoglund,