July: America’s Birthday


Photo by Luke Stackpoole

Americans have been fighting for our freedom since 1776.

On America’s 248th birthday, I’ve been thinking. These days, I have trouble watching the news, local or national; I suspect you do too. We’ve reached a point in our society where front porches have been replaced by back porches, we hardly see or talk to our neighbors as the world moves faster and faster each day, social media and the rest of the internet seems to divide us. Even the mere mention of politics can cause fierce debate and hot emotions among friends and family. Even as I write this, I suspect I might be offending someone with the subject of this post: America’s Birthday. Our independence.

After my own birthdays, I often find myself reflecting on how quickly each one came and went, reviewing the highlights, the lowlights, and the things I want to accomplish between each birthday. This got me thinking about my history classes in elementary, middle, and high school. I can hardly remember that far back (I’m dating myself here)—but I truly don’t remember when I last read the Declaration of Independence or the Constitution of the United States. I want to revisit what our founding fathers wrote and refresh myself on what we learned in our history class all those years ago.

America is special, even with all the challenges we might see or experience in our daily walks of life. Independence is a common theme in my daily conversations. I feel the freest when I’m in the middle of nowhere: in the mountains, in the woods, on a gravel road, sitting in a fishing boat in the Icy Straits as endless amounts of whales dot the water around me, or walking a cornfield in search of that redneck bird. As far as possible from the tallest buildings that usually surround us, one with nature. For me, that’s the independence I strive for as I celebrate America’s Birthday.


Happy Birthday, America, and here’s to many more.