The 4th of July is one of my favorite holidays. I’m proud to be an American. I am a patriot. I genuinely believe in the aspirational ideals of the United States of America.
I’m fully aware of the many millions of ways in which we’ve not lived up to founding ideals across the centuries. But I’ll be damned if I let the worst of us take away the aspirational ideals for the rest of us. The freedom to live up to our higher selves rests in each one of us. And fuck anyone who tells you otherwise.
I like to watch Roland Emmerich’s classic disaster porn cinematic masterpiece Independence Day every July 4th. The speech Bill Pullman delivers as humanity unites to fight the invading hordes of alien locusts is as inspiring a bit of cinema as I can imagine.
In less than an hour, aircraft from here will join others from around the world. And you will be launching the largest aerial battle in the history of mankind. “Mankind.” That word should have new meaning for all of us today. We can’t be consumed by our petty differences anymore. We will be united in our common interests. Perhaps it’s fate that today is the Fourth of July, and you will once again be fighting for our freedom… Not from tyranny, oppression, or persecution… but from annihilation. We are fighting for our right to live. To exist. And should we win the day, the Fourth of July will no longer be known as an American holiday, but as the day the world declared in one voice: “We will not go quietly into the night!” We will not vanish without a fight! We’re going to live on! We’re going to survive! Today we celebrate our Independence Day!Independence Day
Now we don’t seem to be any nearer to humanity uniting behind an American plan for much of anything but I think to think one day we Americans might contribute to something as grandly aspirational as uniting our species. We can barely unite fifty states but we’ve not given up yet. And I personally intend to be here to keep fighting for our ideals. Happy 4th of July.