Many years ago we were camping in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. Late in the day as we were coming down from Mt.Madison there was a terrific thunder storm. It was absolutely beautiful and frightening at the same time as the thunder seemed to boom down the river beds as we made our way back to camp. Later that evening the storm continued and we watched from a boat the 4th of July celebration. I remember thinking,’ Why am I looking at this pretentious pomp?’ My eyes continued to look at the lightening far away in the clouds until I stopped watching the fireworks completely.
As a pacifist I have always struggled with the fourth of July. The celebration of ,’Bombs bursting in air’, giving PTSD to all beings in the air, forest, and waters, triggering those with PTSD as the blasts seem to vibrate off out very souls.
Why would I want to celebrate warfare? Why would I want to celebrate the military to the exclusion of all other jobs that people have(teachers, cna’s, mental health workers,writers,musicians, social workers, doctors, factory workers, cooks,etc…)? Do we really fight for our freedom? Last time I checked the only enemies we have had are people that live right here in the USA fighting against Civil Liberties,Mother Earth, Health Care(single pay, like mort of the post industrial nations, better education, free college, equitable pay for women,etc,etc…).
I can’t in good conscience celebrate the 4th of July. I will not celebrate the military(they have far to many holidays). I will not watch, ‘bombs bursting in air’, for human pleasure as we totally disrupt ecosystems. I will not buy into the patriotic rhetoric that says we must celebrate a national holiday by swilling beer, eating flesh, watching bombs, and driving angrily on roads like some sort of statement awaiting a challenge(#flippingyouoffcuziamapatriotnowgetthef$%@outofmyway).
From this day forward I refrain from this ,’celebration’. I will choose instead to use this day as a day of grieving. I shall grieve the Native Americans that were slaughtered to make,’America Great’. I shall grieve the Africans that were brought to America into the egregious system of slavery. I shall grieve the Chinese brought to america to work in servitude on the railroads. I shall grieve the Japanese Americans placed in internment camps during WW2. I shall grieve ploice brutality.I shall grieve Mother Earth and the hideous crimes we have committed against her.I shall grieve woman until fair wages are paid and males apologize for the crimes committed. I shall grieve this nations petulant attitude to the world to the exclusion of helping the world be a better place for all. I shall grieve until each of us looks deeply into ourselves and fight the greatest war of all, the war within.