Columnists, Featured, Mike Rosen, National

Rosen: Don’t forget the meaning of Independence Day

On the 4th of July we celebrate our nation’s birthday, proclaimed by the Continental Congress in the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776 when we dissolved our submission and all ties to the British Crown.  Personally, I make a point of referring to this national holiday by its official name, “Independence Day,” to emphasize its extraordinary significance rather than as just another day off from work, replete with BBQs and fireworks displays — not that I don’t enjoy that part of it, too.

On the evening of July 2, Barb (my best friend, soul mate, and love of my life) and I celebrated Independence Day at Coors Field for a Rockies game featuring the return of Nolan Arenado and a fireworks display.  To be accurate, in these bitter, divisive and ungrateful times, we don’t “all” celebrate our nation’s birth but the vast majority of us do, including the nearly 50,000 people at Coors Field that night.

Unfortunately, the fireworks started prematurely with the Cardinals scoring 6 in the top of the tenth to win the game.  After that, the music leading up to the celebratory fireworks included rock numbers for the dancing pleasure of the crowd and then built to a crescendo of patriotic favorites (I’d have liked a little more John Phillips Sousa) while the “bombs” were bursting in air.  The crowd’s favorite was Lee Greenwood’s “God Bless the U.S.A.” with lyrics like this:

“If tomorrow all the things were gone I worked for all my life and I had to start again with just my children and my wife, I’d thank my lucky stars to be livin’ here today ‘cause the flag still stands for freedom and they can’t take that away.  From the lakes of Minnesota to the hills of Tennessee, across the plains of Texas from sea to shining sea, from Detroit down to Houston and New York to L.A., well there’s pride in every American heart and it’s time we stand up and say that I’m proud to be an American where at least I know I’m free.  And I won’t forget the men who died who gave that right to me.  And I’d gladly stand up next to you and defend her still today ‘cause there ain’t no doubt I love this land.  God Bless the USA.”

Hearing that I was filled with a patriotic rush, reinforced by the reaction of the rest of the crowd.  No one desecrated the moment by burning an American flag, chanting political slogans, looting the refreshment booths or attacking the police.  Maybe that ilk was out demonstrating somewhere, which is what they do for sport and self-indulgence.

Patriotism is love and loyalty to one’s country above all others.  I can relate to that.  And our country isn’t solely defined by its government which is just a subset of our society and culture.  In fact, from its inception as an independent nation, our founders were committed to limited government and individual liberty.  Patriotism doesn’t require blind approval of everything our government has ever done or agreement with of all of its elected officials or political parties.  That’s why we have elections.  But all things considered, compared to the rest of the world’s overall past and present, I prefer ours, which makes me a patriot.

Patriotic Canadians no doubt feel the same about their country, as do the French , the Brits, Canadians, Germans, Swiss, Swedes, Aussies, Kiwis, etc.  Apparently, the hordes of Latinos from South America, Central America and Mexico flocking to our southern border, desperate to come to the United States — legally or illegally — are less satisfied with about theirs.  When minority activists in this country claim their people are “oppressed” here, they ought to compare notes with the truly oppressed multitudes in totalitarian dictatorships like North Korea, Communist China and Cuba.

The most objective, worldwide market test of oppression and deprivation versus freedom and abundance is to simply observe “which way the guns are pointed.”  In totalitarian nations like the former Soviet Union, they’re pointed inward, keeping their people from escaping (recall the Berlin Wall).  In America, the guns (for the most part metaphorically) are pointed outward, attempting to keep foreigners from coming in illegally — with limited success lately due to the malfeasance of the Biden administration and its political goal of open borders.

I reject Critical Race Theory and other trendy ravings of leftist would-be revolutionaries as bunk that, sadly, has poisoned higher education and our society.  But their America-hating derangement hasn’t weakened my love for our country, and I hope yours, one bit.

As Lee Greenwood would say, “God Bless the U.S.A.”

Longtime KOA radio talk host and columnist for the Denver Post and Rocky Mountain News Mike Rosen now writes for


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