America Wasn’t Founded by Heroes

As we celebrate this Fourth of July, I am reminded of the years I taught American History and how important and consequential that calling was. If our history as a Nation is not celebrated, learned from, and protected, then who are we as Americans? And more importantly, who will we become?

The ideals aspired to in the Declaration, probably more than any other document, paved the way for the abolishment of slavery, due process and equal protection, and the Women’s and Civil Rights movements. All of these events, when analyzed contextually, tell the story of a Nation striving to fulfill the legacy of equality established in our founding documents. | Image from Shutterstock | Licensed for use

This nation wasn’t founded by heroes. It was founded by men who were human and flawed, but who sought to create something better than themselves.

This nation wasn’t defended by heroes. It was defended by brothers and sisters, husbands and wives, sons and daughters. Every day people who rose up when called, to fight, to defend, to pay the ultimate sacrifice for a cause greater than themselves. It still is.

Countless generations of immigrants didn’t pour into this country because they were forced to. They came because they chose to. Because they believed that in America they would not only escape the persecution, oppression, and poverty of their homelands, they would also have opportunities far beyond any they could imagine. They came for a better life. And they found one. They still do.

This soil we build our lives upon isn’t great because it’s American. It’s great because of the blood, sweat, and tears poured into it. The bastion of liberty and freedom built upon it. And the ideals that form the foundation of all we are, and all we aspire to be. It still is.

What’s magnificent about this country isn’t just shining from sea to shining sea. It’s in the hearts and minds of its citizens. The morals and principles we live by. The lessons we’ve learned through both failure and success. The wisdom we pass on to our children. The faith with which we carry on. No matter the obstacles. We still do.

The future of this country isn’t a given. If America is to prevail, it is we who must stand up. We who must raise our voices. We who must defend these principles and guard this shared heritage. It is we who must call on all those who’ve come before on behalf of all those yet to come, to ensure that this “government of the people, by the people, and for the people does not perish from the earth.”

We are the people. We are America.

Happy Independence Day.

May God Bless America.

JN Fenwick (© 2021-2022) | mothjournal14

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