Happy Birthday America!!

This is not a Football Post; Please feel free to click past if looking for that.

There are times to look away from the detailed and well documented reports and opinions of our favorite team and individual players and take a moment to reflect on the larger implications of being a fan of America's Team.

The freedom to yell, cheer, obsess for and debate the merits of our team is one of countless ways to utilize the freedom of speech we enjoy as an American birthright. Yes this is one of many rights we have merely by virtue of being born in, or becoming a citizen of the United States of America. This right is afforded to all whether you choose to exercise this right or not; whether you choose to speak your freedom in the verbiage of a liberal or a conservative, pro or anti anything, or choose to take no side whatsoever. I even have a good friend who loudly supports his NY football Giants, this is his right, even though I tell him he is wrong ;)

All are within their rights to pick a serious cause to publically support, or to pick something as whimsical as say a television program, or heaven help us even a sports team to spout beliefs and opinions about. The only travesty is to take for granted or worse, forget this is a cherished set of, or Bill Of Rights ; one that was won and constantly protected through sacrifice and blood by Warriors (did not want to slight my brothers and sisters in arms past and present by saying only Soldiers) and Civilian Men, Women, and Children of this great nation.

So let us take this day and while safely enjoying our food, friendships, fireworks, and perhaps adult beverages remember to reflect on the true meaning of this day, this American INDEPENDANCE Day. And forget not those past, present, and future who protect our freedoms on the battlefields, on the borders, and congressional floors. Let us show tolerance for those who peacefully exercise the same rights we are celebrating but with different views than we hold; let us show solidarity and understanding to those who are different than us in appearance, speech, or culture.

I will close with a moving speech I heard as a small boy by a comedian on television, it was unexpected and moved me to thoughts and feelings beyond my years. It is old fashioned and maybe out of date, but it is timeless in its honesty and sentiment for citizens of this great nation. Be kind to each other and be safe.

The following words were spoken by the late Red Skelton on his television program as he related the story of his teacher, Mr. Laswell, who felt his students had come to think of the Pledge of Allegiance as merely something to recite in class each day. Now, more than ever, listen to the meaning of these words.

"I've been listening to you boys and girls recite the Pledge of Allegiance all semester and it seems as though it is becoming monotonous to you. If I may, may I recite it and try to explain to you the meaning of each word"


me, an individual, a committee of one.


dedicate all of my worldly goods to give without self pity.


my love and my devotion.

To the flag

Our standard, Old Glory, a symbol of freedom. Wherever she waves, there's respect because your loyalty has given her a dignity that shouts freedom is everybody's job!


that means that we have all come together


individual communities that have united into 48 great states. Forty-eight individual communities with pride and dignity and purpose; all divided with imaginary boundaries, yet united to a common purpose, and that's love for country.

And to the republic

a state in which sovereign power is invested in representatives chosen by the people to govern. And government is the people, and it's from the people to the leaders, not from the leaders to the people.

For which it stands, one nation

one nation, meaning "so blessed by God"


incapable of being divided.

With liberty

which is freedom -- the right of power to live one's own life without threats, fear or some sort of retaliation.

And Justice

the principle or quality of dealing fairly with others.

For all

which means, boys and girls, it's as much your country as it is mine.


Since I was a small boy, two states have been added to our country

and two words have been added to the pledge of Allegiance...


Another user-created commentary provided by a BTB reader.

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