A Reason to Celebrate

Two days ago The United States of America celebrated its independence from Great Britain. The Declaration of Independence was signed on July 4th, 1776, although the United States was not ‘officially’ independent from Great Britain until the Treaty of Paris was signed on September 3rd, 1783 after the American Revolution.

The weather was fantastic and so was the company. Both of my 4th of the July celebrations I have had the honor of having a precious, little girl by the name of Cecilia Ann (daughter of Chris and Angie) in my presence. Here she is waving her American flag.

I sat down to a hearty meal and I happily toasted this great nation. I wore a T-shirt fit for the occasion, a T-shirt with the star spangled banner on the front given to me last year from a fan club member and friend, Maggie.

Somebody back in Sweden once asked me how it would feel to be an Englishman in America on Independence Day. This is now my second 4th of July. Last year I celebrated this momentous occasion down in Mankato with a wonderful couple, who have long since become good friends of mine. This year I celebrated it in Litchfield.

I can tell you now exactly the same thing as I told this person back in Sweden. I was and am happy to celebrate the independence of your country from my country, am happy for America and all that she stands for. No country should ever have power over another country, no people over another people. The United States of America truly is the land of the free.

As you know, I haven’t lived in England for many years. I do though; know the National Anthem off by heart. We sing ‘God save our gracious queen’. I have never really understood that. Sure, she is our Head of State, but she is just one person and yet there are roughly sixty-five million people in Great Britain. Is one more important than sixty-five million?

No, I don’t believe that. ‘I pledge elegance to the flag of the United States of America and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all’.  These words are taken from your Pledge of Elegance. The United States of America: not one person, but one nation with all its peoples.

On the evening of the 4th, I stood with Rosie at Lake Minnebelle and watched an amazing firework display. Despite being bitten half to death by an army of mosquitoes, I had an amazing time and I wouldn’t have missed the occasion for the world.

I am an Englishman, although more importantly, I am a human. I am one man on this planet and I feel proud to have been able to celebrate the independence of this great nation.

Peace be with you all

Gavin

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