On this Independence Day, we invite you to think about our interdependence. As the pledge of allegiance recognizes, the two go hand in hand. We can’t maintain liberty if we don’t have justice for all. We are interdependent.
It was interdependence that secured our freedoms. It was interdependence – reflected in the design of our financial and transportation systems — that helped build our economy. It was by recognizing our interdependence that we got through past epidemics and economic crises.
Without acknowledging our interdependence and thinking about the common good, we can’t secure the physical, economic, or political health of our communities. Both citizens and their government play important roles in protecting both our freedoms and the public health and welfare.
As a people, we are fond of saying “Freedom isn’t free.” There is a cost even in our daily lives to maintaining that freedom – a cost in terms of self-control, respect for others, and putting in the time and effort to understand our economic and political systems so that we can make informed decisions. It’s hard work, and worth committing to on this Independence Day. Are we willing to do our part?
“A true patriot salutes the flag but always also makes sure it’s flying over a nation that’s not only free but fair, not only strong but just. History and reason summon us to embrace love and loyalty – to a citizenship that seeks a better world, calls on those better angels, and fights for better days. What, really, could be more patriotic than that? What, in the end, could be more American?”
John Meachem and Tim McGraw, Songs of America, (Penquin Random House, 2019)