Monday, July 12, 2010

Independence Day Parade 2010




In my Sophomore year of college I went through a very metamorphic and painful change. It was my year of enlightenment, the year I realized that the more I learned the more I knew very little about this world, the universe and how things work. I went head to head with an English professor whose heart and soul was into that years presidential election. That year I stood on everything that I was taught to believe and voted for a President that if I had known what it meant, the things that would transpire after and the regret I would feel afterward I would have never voted that way.

It is very difficult to give up what you know sometimes when you have held on to it for so long, even for the truth. However, there comes a time when you have to ask yourself do you really want your fundamental beliefs centered around something you know is a lie?

In this picture are some kids riding on a float in the 4th of July parade. Independence Day! The day that marks freedom and liberty. The kids are all holding signs that represent what freedom in America means to them. I was able to catch a single moment and while I am certain that it was not the intent of the children, I was left with an image that struck a chord deep in my heart.

The girls holding the signs that read Betsy Ross and Sarah Palin are both looking away from the very sad looking kid holding the Martin Luther King sign. I am sure that he was wishing to be somewhere else but the symbolism of the moment reminded me made me think of the division that this country is moving toward. Maybe it is only because that, thanks to that English professor, I am more aware of that growing line. Or maybe that division has become more visible with the election of our first black president and it is rippling through other minority groups. Fundamentalists desperately trying to hold on to the way things were and reaching back in history to grab onto something thats gone, blow the dust off of it and repackage it to work for today.

I know that is a lot to get from one photograph, and perhaps I am reaching a bit. But the 4th of July and it's reminder of freedom, liberty and everyones right to the pursuit of happiness left its impression on me that day, and for my little part of what I can offer America in the way that I vote will never again be left to blind confidence but will be researched and challenges and thought out. 

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