This year we need to cancel Independence Day, need to mothball our raucous patriotism,
Put those ceremonial clothes away in the cedar chest like our grandmothers put away precious wool outfits.
Because our patriotism, our own American focus, our proud story have wrecked havoc in places
that were already suffering from their religious debacle,
their own strident patriotism, their self-centered focus, their own proud stories...
#1 We need to turn our celebration into mourning, our self-focus into remembrance.
What is the source of all our wars and fights?
Reflect on that and change.
But this weekend--
Lament, mourn, and weep.
Let our laughter be turned to mourning, and our joy to sorrow.
Dirge Without Music
I am not resigned to the shutting away of loving hearts in the hard ground.
So it is, and so it will be, for so it has been, time out of mind:
Into the darkness they go, the wise and the lovely. Crowned
With lilies and with laurel they go; but I am not resigned.
Lovers and thinkers, into the earth with you.
Be one with the dull, the indiscriminate dust.
A fragment of what you felt, of what you knew,
A formula, a phrase remains,—but the best is lost.
The answers quick and keen, the honest look, the laughter, the love,—
They are gone. They are gone to feed the roses. Elegant and curled
Is the blossom. Fragrant is the blossom. I know. But I do not approve.
More precious was the light in your eyes than all the roses in the world.
Down, down, down into the darkness of the grave
Gently they go, the beautiful, the tender, the kind;
Quietly they go, the intelligent, the witty, the brave.
I know. But I do not approve. And I am not resigned.
-Edna St. Vincent Millay
#2 Let's center in what is for the ultimate good, what will help the impoverished world.
It's not more of "God Bless U.S." (Insert the name of your own country, religion, ideology, and faction or sect)!
Never ought to have been.
Ah, but we humans don't need those history lessons, again, do we?
Yes, we do, but not here and not now.
Now let us grieve this 4th.
#3 And let us give generously to those in need.
#4 Not weapons, not billions of dollars for wars
like the U.S. government did this last month to Israel, Egypt, etc.
But instead we need to give life-enhancing methods, technology, crops, precious pure water and so much more.
#5 And let us, again, remember those who have been blasted
from this life all too soon, all too quickly--
the young, the innocent, the suffering, the weak, the lost...
Instead of "bombs bursting in air," let this weekend burst with grieving and compassion.
Instead of "through the night our flag was still there," let this weekend be given to work for human rights.
Write a letter for prisoners of conscience, for orphans, for the impoverished...
When will the star-spangled night sky shine over a world of peace, hope, justice, and human rights?
In the LIGHT,