The United States of America was founded by men who were unknown in most of the world. To be sure, they were all white, male landowners. The new nation announced lofty ideals committed to democracy, as long as these goals were for white men who owned land. Nevertheless this new nation experienced a leap forward in establishing democracy drawn up by an amazingly talented and brilliant group of men.
What percentage of this effort was an altruistic desire to found a republic of the people, and what percentage was to get these landowners and businessmen free of the yoke of British taxes will always be a topic of debate. What eventually evolved through amendments and dramatic demands by women and people of color is a building-block in the march of democracy. We are proud to celebrate this march that began in the 18th century and followed a bumpy road of reluctant democratic inclusion, greed-capitalism, bigotry, militarism, selfish lobbying, insensitivity for the underserved, imperialistic-like foreign policies, ad infinitum.
We have had to deal with the KKK, the Know-Nothing Party, slavery, religious fundamentalism, Jim Crow laws, prejudice, economic setbacks, child labor exploitation, politicians purchased by corporate power, imperialistic treatment of Mexico and its land, pollution, unfair labor practices, a failed "war on drugs," a civil war, climate change, national disasters, wars, a Native-American holocaust, etc.
As citizens of the USA we celebrate those who gave and sacrificed much in these battles: those who served in the military service, civil rights warriors, fighters for women's rights, organized labor pioneers, explorers, sensitive business people, and good neighbors.
The toughest part of our move forward in America has always seemed to be in those areas where we need to share our wealth, give equal rights to all people, serve as a peaceful democratic beacon, and flesh out words such as freedom and equality.
As we work and serve freedom and equality, let us stand up and celebrate the United States of America.
""Our country...when right, to be kept right; when wrong, to be put right." -Carl Schurz [a Wisconsinite]