Good Morning Everybody,
Today is a very special day in America - it's the celebration of our birth as a new country into the world. This is strongly significant if you have an appreciation for some of our early history and the beginnings of our country building days. How much of our American history do we really know? Unfortunately it is usually just what we learned in school and that was all pretty boring, dry, and without many in-depth details. Most of us never really got a real appreciation for the "blood, sweat, and tears" that went into building our country. Also missed was and fortitude, wisdom, and luck of our forefathers that helped bring America to independence and then greatness.
Back in 2006 when LaDawn and I were touring the country with my "Digital WakeUp Call Tour" we spent many hours in the van driving from city to city - about 25,000 miles in all. Early on in the tour, we were driving from Northern Kentucky all the way to Boston. It was approximately 900 miles and quite a trip. We decided to pass the time listening to some books on tape. David McCullough's recently published book "1776" was getting rave reviews so we decided to pick up the CD version and listen to it on the way. This was the first of many American history CD's we listened to over the following months.
What an amazing listen!! The richness of McCullough's storytelling and the history of the geographic regions which we were driving through as we travelled Northeast gave us "goose-bumps" as we listen enthralled for nearly 15 hours. What struck us both was the luck, and I mean L-U-C-K our forefathers had in bringing our young country to freedom. This happened over and over as we listened to the several narrow escapes of George Washington during the Revolutionary War. We were also impressed with the integrity and courage of our early leaders like John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and Andrew Jackson as we learned more of the challenges they faced early on as our country coalesced into a unified entity and continued to grow west.
Every story was more exciting than the next, and each one gave a greater appreciation for the great country in which we live. Lincoln's leadership just 150 years ago was truly inspired considering his challenges of the time. Our America has been filled with a rich texture of history, leadership, and luck - and mostly luck - that should give each and everyone of us pause for reflection and a tremendous appreciation for the country in which we live.
Today should give each of we Americans pause to be thankful for our soldiers, diplomats, leaders here and throughout the world who are striving to keep our country safe and strong. To all of us living in America, we are truly blessed more richly than most of us will ever realize. As we enjoy our families, friends, our picnics and fireworks, let's be truly appreciative of our past, thankful for the present, and optimistic for our future.
Happy July 4th everybody, be safe, and I'll see you on Monday. -David