A July 4th message from a friend, to appreciate every day of the year…

As tawdry as it can all seem sometimes, the Bernard Madoff stuff and political gridlock, as I set the table this morning and tie my red white and blue ribbons on the candelabra, sprinkle out my same-colored confetti, the flag hangs, I unfurl the beat-up souvenir copy of the Declaration of Independence and see the beautiful signature of John Hancock and Jefferson and I still get goosebumps. Invariably when I read excerpts to my kids, I well up, and I am not a sentimental person.

But as I skimmed the language this morning, I was struck by the words “Governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed.” It made me feel thankful for the election last year, and whatever anyone’s position, that there was such engagement and participation. When I get discouraged about the country and the world, a little taste of Independence Day makes me feel better.

–Danna Breen, Portola Valley CA

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