|Liberty, photo by my daughter Olivia|
My many summers at Philmont bound me to those words forever. The fact that my daughters picked it up at a Staff reunion and now say it at many evening meals gives me further opportunity to reflect on the grace. Philmont, I should add for my non-Scouting readers, is the premier High Adventure camp of the Boy Scout of America, each summer attracting thousands of young men and women for backpacking and unforgettable experiences.
The campers will say these words before their meals, mostly without any more thought than other public blessings. But there, in the middle, two phrases after “for raiment” (which I must admit, made a few stop and ask its meaning--clothing), is a reminder of the definitive blessing of this day, of our independence, opportunity.
My series on our legal holidays is a request that we not forget why we celebrate. While this holiday is easy on the surface, even young children understand a birthday party, the gifts we receive at that party are also easy to overlook. Happy Birthday to us, Americans. We’ve received that greatest gift of all—opportunity.
It’s worth reading or hearing (the annual reading on National Public Radio is one of my favorite traditions) the Declaration from time-to-time if only to remind ourselves of the mutual pledge of our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor, with a reliance on the protection of divine Providence, that was made to give birth to our country. Should any less be expected to sustain it?