Search This Blog

Monday, July 06, 2009

Fireworks Show

Did you celebrate this past weekend? Did you get to see some terrific fireworks? I sure did. We went to two different fireworks shows, one on Friday night and the other on Saturday night. Both of them were parties, with lots of people. Somehow I felt contemplative, amidst all those people. I couldn't help but wonder about this country called the U.S. of A.

I thought of the wars, the economy, the politics, the national debt and other matters. I wondered if we truly are representative of the future - or if we represent some chasm of the future. I read in the newspapers this past weekend, famous people talking about what America means to them. Of course it meant different things to many people, as they all waxed poetic about our greatness, freedom, honor, and even our generosity. Many referred to it as the land of opportunity.

At the risk of sounding cynical, I had to wonder why nobody sees the America I see. I mean it is the land of opportunity and all - but that opportunity has been terribly expensive. It has cost us so much. In fact, it is fair to say that it has cost us considerably more than most people can comprehend.

Consider war. America has been directly involved in just three (3) really deadly wars in my lifetime. The Vietnam war cost us a great deal. Many lives were lost. Much money was spent. Considerable internal strife resulted from our involvement in it. Ironically, Communism prevailed. We lost the war. And it wasn't our freedom that we were fighting for. Then there is Afghanistan and Iraq. Both wars have been terribly expensive. Lives have been lost. Obscene amounts of money are still being spent. Through it all, Islam is prevailing. And it hasn't been our freedom that we've been fighting for. As the fireworks go off, and as we sing songs of victory and freedom - I wonder if anyone is mindful of these facts.

Perhaps it was a time when America was fighting for its freedom. England oppressed us. We felt persecuted. Immigrants from many oppressed countries in Europe fled here. Immigrants today come from all sorts of countries where there is political and economic oppression. They are fleeing misery. What they find here is a land of opportunity. Do you suppose any of them have a clue about how much that opportunity costs?

Don't get me wrong, I love America. It's a great place to live. I feel that we are probably one of the most blessed nations on earth. But I'm not naive about the state of affairs around here. I can look around me and see that it is an incredibly expensive land. The freedoms, the opportunities, and blessings ... they are all very expensive. It's not even that price tag that worries me though. Rather it is the ignorance with which we go about our day-to-day lives. We seem to be oblivious of the price tag.

And I can't help but wonder if the real fireworks might start when our ignorance of the costs to sustain this great nation is finally exposed.

No comments:

Post a Comment