I am sad to hear that President Trump will be leading those who choose to celebrate Independence Day with a show of tanks and military air might. Instead of hotdogs, baseball and apple pie, we are representing our national pride by proclaiming to the world that our defensive and perhaps aggressive power is up to any challenge. Instead of wrapping our national pride in freedom and democracy, it is being symbolized by our biggest guns and fastest planes. Instead of a celebration to confirm and reassure, it is a message to reinforce the possibility if not the probability of war, a message to promote fear and trepidation. It is a bit like replacing Thanksgiving with a day of preparation.
Unfortunately, Erma Bombeck no longer has it right. Her gentle picture is just not there when the view is through President Trumps’ eyes. “You have to love a nation that celebrates its independence every July 4, not with a parade of guns, tanks, and soldiers who file by the White House in a show of strength and muscle, but with family picnics where kids throw Frisbees, the potato salad gets iffy, and the flies die from happiness. You may think you have overeaten, but it is patriotism.”