Giving back truly patriotic

By Clyde Davis: CNJ columnist

Beneath it all, all the hooplah and ceremony, all the rah rah and fireworks, all the picnics and celebrating, lies a fundamental truth that we cannot afford to lose sight of.

America is blessed with freedom. Even the freedom to say that we feel our freedom is threatened is somewhat unique. Even the freedom to question our government, to make statements concerning its decisions, its past, and its future, is somewhat unique.

The events of July 4th, 1776, were certainly not the only factors which contributed to that freedom. They stand, however, as symbolic and focus our emotion, and our commitment, on a specific date. As an analogy, I adore my wife every day, the calendar only gives me a symbolic anniversary to express that.

Central to that freedom is the obligation to participate, to get involved. Getting involved is not a spot for those whose energy level is so low that they feel themselves “deprived” if the remote doesn’t work, or inconvenienced because Hastings does not have the DVD they wanted.

By the same token, one doesn’t have to run for office, run for judge, or run a marathon to get involved. There are many levels, and many ways, of getting involved.

I have always found one of my key ways of building a better society to include working with youth and children. Granted the opportunity to go to college and get an education degree, then exposed to plenty of opportunities for continuing education, I feel I would be cheating my society if I didn’t use these.

Your training, skills, and interests may be different. Music. Accounting. Art. Science. Plumbing. I think it should be in the Constitution that we have the right — no, the obligation, to make the best of what we have been given. No nation can remain great on the half-baked efforts of talented people wasting their talents. And, if you read this column on a regular basis, you know I believe that everyone has some talents.

“It’s a big old land with countless dreams.

Happiness ain’t out of reach

Hard work pays off the way it should

Yea, I’ve seen enough to know that we got it good

Where the stars and stripes and the eagle fly…

There’s a lady that stands

in a harbor for what we believe

And there’s a bell that still echoes

the price that it cost to be free

I pledge allegiance to the flag

And if that bothers you, well that’s too bad

But if you’ve got pride, and you’re proud to do

Hey, we can use more like me and you”