Tuesday, July 4, 2006

"Hello Freedom Man"

I wasn't going to do a special Fourth of July post; there seems to be an awful lot of them out there and one more from me isn't really going to add much. Then yesterday I heard a news item on the radio that a new poll is out which claims that something like 74% of conservatives and only 44% of liberals are proud of our country.

This was deeply disturbing to me for obvious reasons. I, by no means, believe our country is perfect, but given all that we have done to shape the course of human events for the betterment of man, how could anyone not be proud of this country? To think of a world that is absent of the United States' impact on history is to think of a fairly dark place indeed.

At any rate, I also heard this morning, a story that was told by Ronald Reagan during his fairwell address. I've copied it at the end of this post. I think it captures the importance of the U.S., and reminds us of why, in the face of those who lack the courage to stand tall for freedom in this world, those of us who believe in our country can continue to be proud of what we've done.

Have a safe and happy Fourth of July.

Oh, and to my friends in the UK, Happy Thanksgiving!

"I've been reflecting on what the past eight years have meant and mean. And the image that comes to mind like a refrain is a nautical one--a small story about a big ship, and a refugee and a sailor. It was back in the early '80s, at the height of the boat people. And the sailor was hard at work on the carrier Midway, which was patrolling the South China Sea. The sailor, like most American servicemen, was young, smart, and fiercely observant. The crew spied on the horizon a leaky little boat. And crammed inside were refugees from Indochina hoping to get to America. The Midway sent a small launch to bring them to the ship and safety. As the refugees made their way through the choppy seas, one spied the sailor on deck and stood up and called out to him. He yelled, "Hello, American sailor. Hello, freedom man."

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