I awoke this morning in the quiet dawn before the rest of the family. After feeding Lucy, our dog, and making the coffee, I retrieved the NY Times from the driveway, sat down at the kitchen table and read it cover to cover.
I finished with the Declaration of Independence, which the Times reprints each year on this date. It’s something they’ve been doing since the 1870s and re-reading it once a year has become a tradition for me.
Each time I do I come away with a new and different appreciation for the document. This morning, I was struck by the prose – “A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people” – and also the sheer ballsiness of our Founding Fathers.
In the current vernacular, those gentleman had “game”. Big time game.
I’ve tried to coax my children to enjoy this annual tradition, with limited success. One’s appreciation for this thing we call “America” only develops with an awareness of the alternatives, not something top of mind when your focus is on summer vacation and social networking. So for the kids, here’s something to get you started. For everyone else, enjoy your version of the tradition.