Celebrate, re­mem­ber, unite

The Covington News - - OPINION -

Birthdays are a time to celebrate, re­flect, be with those close to us and look to­ward another year of growth.

Satur­day was a chance to do just that for the birth of the United States of Amer­ica, and boy was it time for a birth­day.

We hope this Fourth of July gave ev­ery­one across the na­tion a chance to celebrate the events of 1776, re­flect on what it took and the sac­ri­fices made to en­able us all to be called Amer­i­cans, and look to­ward con­tin­u­ing to help the coun­try go down a path that has made it not only a pros­per­ous na­tion but one of op­por­tu­nity and free­doms.

The events of the past cou­ple of weeks have caused much dis­cus­sion and even more emo­tions for a coun­try we be­lieve is at a cross­roads. A hor­rific shoot­ing in Charleston, South Carolina shook the na­tion’s racial fault line, while a widow spoke not of race but of for­give­ness and faith, mak­ing us re­mem­ber the words that helped start this coun­try: “that all men are cre­ated equal, that they are en­dowed by their Cre­ator with cer­tain un­alien­able Rights.”

Those rights are Life, Lib­erty and the pur­suit of Hap­pi­ness.

The nine vic­tims of Charleston were go­ing about their life, in which they had the lib­erty to be­lieve and prac­tice the re­li­gion of their choos­ing. But the hap­pi­ness was erased from their loved ones’ lives. A per­son with evil in his heart walked into Emanuel African Methodist Epis­co­pal Church and took away those un­alien­able rights.

We must honor the nine peo­ple who were killed by never giv­ing up the need and will to re­tain our rights to Life, Lib­erty and the pur­suit of Hap­pi­ness for each and ev­ery Amer­i­can.

Days later, rights that were al­ready al­lowed to much of the na­tion’s pop­u­la­tion were given to oth­ers in a Supreme Court rul­ing. It was a move­ment of love and equal­ity, but also a vote that should make us think on the im­pli­ca­tions of fed­eral laws out rul­ing state laws.

Much was made of the na­tion’s so­cial evo­lu­tion af­ter the rul­ing on same-sex mar­riage, but there is more at stake for this coun­try. Will other state laws be su­per­seded? Will those re­li­gious free­doms be dulled? Will gun con­trol laws, rul­ings on mar­i­juana and other is­sues be­come de­creed by the fed­eral gov­ern­ment?

We do be­lieve that love will al­ways win. How­ever, once again, we feel the fo­cus should be on Amer­ica. As a na­tion we are a melt­ing pot, but we are all Amer­i­cans. And the largest as­sim­i­lat­ing fac­tor is that we are all en­ti­tled to the rights that our found­ing fathers put in front of us back in 1776.

We hope this Fourth of July re­minded ev­ery­one of that. For it is a pa­triot, John Dickinson who said “by unit­ing we stand, by di­vid­ing we fall,” and an Apos­tle, Matthew who said “Ev­ery city or house di­vided against it­self shall not stand.”

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