Ropeyarn Sunday “Sea Stories” and Open Trackbacks

July 4th, 2007 by xformed






July 4th. I don’t have a specific sea story relating to a 4th of July I was somewhere where something profoundly patriotic was done for me. I was pretty lucky, with all my deployments, I was home most summers. Cruises generally happened in Oct-Apr time frame it seemed, so even when on sea duty, I was stateside. Dennis Prager, in his column yesterday, suggests that America needs a 4th of July Seder. Having once attended a Passover seder, I agree.The purpose of the seder is to recount the history of the people, including playing out certain skits and conducting some set rituals in remembrance of the moment.Dennis begins his editorial thusly:

Perhaps the major reason Jews have been able to keep their national identity alive for 3,000 years, the last 2,000 of which were nearly all spent dispersed among other nations, is ritual. No national or cultural identity can survive without ritual, even if the group remains in its own country.

Americans knew this until the era of anti-wisdom was ushered in by the baby boomer generation in the 1960s and ’70s. We always had national holidays that celebrated something meaningful.

When I was in elementary school, every year we would put on a play about Abraham Lincoln to commemorate Lincoln’s Birthday and a play about George Washington to commemorate Washington’s Birthday. Unfortunately, Congress made a particularly foolish decision to abolish the two greatest presidents’ birthdays as national holidays and substituted the meaningless Presidents Day. Beyond having a three-day weekend and department store sales, the day means nothing.

Columbus Day is rarely celebrated since the European founding of European civilization on American soil is not politically correct.
[…]

He goes on to discuss how holidays such as Christmas have been plowed under, not to be named or discussed in public, by the plowshares of the brain washingpolitically correct thought process. It is detrimental to lose this memory, of how our Nation grew from small settlements along the shore, experimented for one year in what later became to be called “Communism,” and was rejected because it almost killed them, of how the right to be equal, laid out on this day in 1776, has become far closer to universal for all our citizens, that it every has been in any country in history. How only the rich, landed men used to determine our fate and course in history, and now we all have that right to voice out opinion at the ballot box. How the error of slavery was understood, and rectified, without foreign powers coming across our shores to tell us how to become more civilized. How millions of young men have left their families and gone overseas, never to see their homeland alive again, because there was something bigger at stake than their lives.

We all know it, but how long, now with only about 1% of our men and women and their families comprise the military that hands our food, candy, soccer balls and encouragement to the oppressed around the world?

Yes, a seder in the name of Freedom is something worth looking into. Dennis ends with a challenge:

[..]
But someone — or many someones — must come up with a July Fourth Seder. A generation of Americans with little American identity — emanating from little American memory — has already grown into adulthood. The nation whose founders regarded itself as the Second Israel must now learn how to survive from the First.

Could you be one of those “someones?”

My suggestion: It all begins with family and friends gathered in the presence of ,a href=”http://www.townhall.com/columnists/BenShapiro/2007/07/04/the_stars_and_stripes_forever”>Old Glory, standing if they are able, saying the Pledge of Allegiance, followed by the reading of two documents; The Declaration of Independence, and the Gettysburg Address.

I urge you to consider this effort by Dennis Prager, and forward your suggestions.

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