Saturday, July 4, 2020

Independance Day 2020

I usually try to write something special each year to commemorate the 4th of July, but this year I was coming up empty.

I am not sure if it is related to the ongoing Coronovirus problems and the seeming mishandling of them, or the inability to redress the concerns of so many of our citizens leading to the unrest and turmoil in the streets or just why I don't seem able to write my usual yearly tribute.

Then, a couple of days ago I got an update from National Geographic's Genome Project. I had sent in a DNA sample several years ago and had actually pretty much forgotten about it. They were alerting all who contributed that the project was closing down its public access and if you wanted the information, you needed to download it before June 30.

So, I got looking at it again and much seems to have been added. They now trace your DNA travel from Africa to wherever your genetic ancestors roamed. All very interesting even if some of the science is largely above my pay-grade. My fathers ancestors left Africa and headed up the west coast of Europe ending up in Ireland. My mother's fore bearers went through the Middle East, Asia, across Europe and finally landed in Scotland.

Anyway, they also include a bunch of people with whom you share DNA. Not sure if that actually makes one related to these folks but for today"s purposes, it'll do!

Among those with whom I share DNA are Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin. And, even if not actually related, I like to think so and what they would make of America today.

The more we study and learn about these men, or any others for that matter, the more flawed we discover them to be, just like the rest of us. They clearly had great abilities, flashes of genius and greatness and despite their seemingly many flaws brought this Nation into being: with all it flaws and flashes of genius and greatness.

So, on this July 4th, I stand in humble hope that we as Americans, as citizens, as human beings can find a means to better ourselves, our country, our world, and try to live up to the hopes and dreams of the American ideal, to reach for the flashes of genius and greatness that all our citizens, our brothers and sisters, strive for and so rightly deserve.

Even with all our flaws.

Next time, on the 9th, we will head back to Pennsylvania, so meet me there at 9:00am.

To see Vietnam Memorials from any state, please click on a state name on the left side of this page.

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