Let your patriotism shine

Americans shouldn't be apprehensive about celebrating Independence Day today. Go ahead, have fun and let your patriotism shine.

Yes, there is a possibility of terrorist attacks. There is always a possibility of terrorist attacks.

But in a nation of 280 million people, where thousands of celebrations will be going on today, the chances you and your family would be affected remain remote.

Be alert. Use common sense. If you do, indeed, see something suspicious, report it to authorities. Just don't let some vague, unseen threat put a damper on your Independence Day.

In fact, we feel fairly confident in saying there are much greater odds of some tragedy occuring from an unthinking, careless action by one of your fellow Americans.

The real threat to your celebration will come from a drunk driver, or from someone shooting illegal fireworks into a tinder-dry field. We hope fervently such a thing won't happen. You can make sure you're not the cause.

Today will see the biggest outpouring of patriotism since the Sept. 11 attacks on New York and Washington, D.C. While the memories of the gruesome horror of those scenes has not faded, this is a time to reaffirm the strengths of this nation demonstrated so vividly in the days following Sept. 11.

We look forward to seeing the flags waving from front porches and car antennas. We look forward to reciting the Pledge of Allegiance and singing the "Star Spangled Banner." We look forward to spending a moment reflecting on our freedoms, our sense of community, and our spirit of independence.

It will be a good day to remember: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among those are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness -- that to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed ...."


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