I don't usually regurgitate old posts, but I looked back on last year's July 4th post and thought it worked.
I was going to get all weepy about the Fourth of July and what liberty means within the context of the past three years and how freedom is precious and how my family hasn't even been in this country for a century and yet only four generations later I enjoy a life of prosperity and happiness that would be envied around the world.Then I realized I didn't need to regurgitate a post. I found what I was looking for in today's New York Times:
And then I thought, "Why bore the crap out of people?"
Why not show them a cool picture and wish them a happy and healthy Fourth.
I'm making corn on the cob for our neighborhood street party today. It's a bring-your-own-meat gathering where everyone gets to grill their own, drink their coldest beer and watch their kids run themselves into a sweaty mess.
If that isn't freedom, I don't know what is.
BAGHDAD, Iraq, July 3 — Zeke Nouri Arif is a talkative old man who, like many Iraqis, seems unconcerned if others speak at the same time or volume as he. He does not mind a chorus. And out of a teahouse chorus of perplexed Iraqis on Saturday, Mr. Arif piped up that he was especially qualified, because of his age, 71, and 50 years moving around Iraq as a truck driver, to weigh in on a momentous week in which little here changed and everything did.
"I have seen a lot," he said. "But I have never seen anything like this. This is such a unique situation. It's very dangerous. People can do whatever they like.
"But we feel better," he added. "We have a new government."
Unlike the earth-shaking changes forced by the American military 16 months ago, the transfer of formal sovereignty to an interim government of Iraqi leaders seems to be working on the national psyche in more subtle ways, which have brought a measure of hope not evident here in some time.