By Richard E. (“Dick”) Moran
Moran is a retired commercial banker and has lived in the Roanoke area for more than 25 years.
During these times filled with uncertainty, strife, and doubt, we should pause and remember just how precious, how vulnerable and, how fleeting this America is in an age of rising authoritarianism. Through a moment in time, we were able to give birth to a nation of principles never seen before and will never be seen again. Dwell long and hard on what we have accomplished in slightly over two centuries through painful strivings to improve the human condition of all Americans through economic hardships that brought us low but always placing one foot in front of the other to move forward. As stated in the preface, America is imperfect but continually strives to improve.
Therefore, on this Fourth of July, it would do us well to remember how this great country came into existence, has endured for over 244 years through travails, wars and crises,’ such as we are seeing now.
On that day so long ago, when men of resolve, of courage and, foresight, declared to a despot across the sea a unanimous…
“Declaration OF Independence”, gave birth to a new nation and did commit unto that end their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor.
And so, our Revolution did rage for six long years, ‘til the despot across the sea saw “the world turned upside down,” grudgingly conceding the new reality of an America born, independent and free.
And to protect its hard-won victory for ages yet to come, to enshrine those stirring words declared a scant decade previous, again those men of resolve, of courage and foresight, came together once more in the city that witnessed its birth, then strove to meld rights old and rights new articulated as never dreamed of or seen in ages past with words of hope, determination and purpose…
“We The People”…,
unheard of in a time of despots and those who ruled with cruelty and malice, these words shook the very bedrock of governments across the globe for these words were but a precursor to those iron principles that followed…
Freedom of religion, free speech and of the press, the right to bear arms, freedom from unreasonable search and seizure, the right to due process, the right to a speedy and fair trial, the prohibition against double jeopardy, against cruel or unusual punishments, our…,
“Bill of Rights”,
But America has not yet fulfilled its promise of equality to all of its citizens as granted under the Constitution. In particular, equality for those citizens of color whose ancestry began more than 400 years ago as slaves, whose struggles through those 400 years has been of pain, of suffering, of violence, and of denial, has not yet been realized. For this republic to survive, prosper and, to realize its full potential as visualized by the Founding Fathers, we must once and for all, confront our past and take the next step forward. Challenging, yes, but necessary and possible.
Think, too, of the million Americans who have given their lives defending this country and its principles in wars both foreign and civil. We have an obligation to those who have died in those conflicts to never give up, to never give in to the easy way out. It is their command, their legacy to us the living to honor their sacrifice.
America, imperfect, continues to be a work in progress.
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