By Wayne County Executive Warren C. Evans
The July Fourth holiday is when most of us celebrate American independence and the freedoms we are all accustomed to taking for granted. Yet the ongoing January 6 Commission hearings serve as a painful reminder of how those freedoms — indeed our entire democracy — are coming under relentless attack by fake patriots who clothe themselves in the flag.
Like all holidays, this is a good time to enjoy with family and friends, to fire up the barbecue, to gather at the park, in the backyard or maybe just relax. Even as we continue to navigate the persistence of the pandemic after two years, it’s worth reflecting on the value of what we have — and why it is worth not simply preserving but improving upon to leave behind an even stronger legacy for future generations. Ours is, and will always be, an imperfect union. That means it will always require safeguarding and constant work and upgrading. Remaining vigilant is not a bad thing, it simply means we are paying attention.
As it relates to the pandemic, as much as we would all love to forget about it and put it behind us, we must still be careful and mindful of reality, not only for ourselves but for our families, friends and neighbors. COVID-19 continues to impact our country, our communities and our families in ways that we may not fully comprehend for years to come. Consequently, if you are fortunate to have come through this crisis relatively whole, please reach out to those who perhaps did not fare so well.
So while it is certainly important for all of us to take advantage of and appreciate these better days, remember that not all of us will have the means to celebrate on this historically important day. And the best kind of celebration is one that truly reflects who we say we are as a nation and who we should be. We will be our best when we can all view each other’s misfortunes as our own and recognize that any threat to our freedoms is a threat to us all as Americans.
Celebrating our independence is a good thing. Being able to celebrate our unity and common cause as a nation would be even better.