The 4th of July & Practical Patriotism

[July 4, 2020]  I’m a patriot.  I’m loyal to our Nation.  And I make no apologies for it.  Period.  On this 4th of July, I plan to salute America as I recognize the birth date of the country.  To be a real patriot, you have to also know about the Declaration of Independence itself.

The Declaration of Independence is not a speech.  The Declaration is a document to war.  It is a vital piece of practical business, not a piece of rhetoric.  It begins with preliminary passages about the rights of our citizens.  In the heart of the document is a very express and detailed specification concerning the actual public business of the day; the business of 1776.

Liberty does not consist of mere general declarations of peoples’ rights.  It includes the translation of those declarations into definitive action.  Lawyers call such a document a bill of particulars.  For those of us today who dedicate ourselves to the symbolic value of this 1776 Declaration, it remains essential that we understand both those times and how it applies to us today in 2020.  Those 244 years have changed us, but the desire for liberty and freedom remains constant.

Patriotism consists of some very practical things.  The way to be patriotic in America is not only to love America but to love the duty that lies nearest to our hand and know that in performing it, we are also serving our country.  Being patriotic also means to learn the facts of our national life and to face them with candor.

Of late, I hear those who insist that everything is going wrong, while many say everything is going right.  I wonder what those who are crying out that things are wrong are trying to do.  Are they trying to serve the country, or are they trying to serve something smaller than the country?  Are they trying to put hope into the hearts of citizens who work and toil every day, or are they trying to plant discouragement and despair?  If they love America and anything is wrong, it is their business to put their hand with ours to the task of setting it right. It is not patriotic to devise measures against one another; it is patriotic to devise measures for one another.

The Declaration of Independence is not merely a historical document.  Since 1776, our independence has been so astonishing that we are one of the greatest nations in the world.  But, it is one thing to be independent, and it’s another thing to know what to do with your independence.

The world is a complex and challenging place.  Yet no one ought to be foolish enough to think they can understand it all.  And, therefore, I am glad that there are some simple things in the world.  One of those simple things is principle.  Honesty is a perfectly simple thing.  Keeping your promises, telling the truth, and bearing difficult burdens are also simple things.

Those gentlemen who signed their names to the Declaration of Independence were not expecting a holiday the next day.  They attached their signatures, knowing that if they failed, it was inevitable that every one of them would hang.  They were committing treason in the interest of liberty.  All the rest of the world was against and cynically smiled at the audacious undertaking.

My dream, like those who signed the Declaration, is that the world knows more about America and that they will turn to America for moral inspirations that lie at the basis of all freedom.  The world should never fear America unless engaged in some enterprise, which is inconsistent with the rights of humanity.  I dream of the day when the American flag is the flag not only of America but of humanity.

Author: Douglas R. Satterfield

Hello. I'm Doug and I provide at least one article everyday on some leadership topic. I welcome comments and also guests who would like to write an article. Thanks for reading my blog.

25 thoughts on “The 4th of July & Practical Patriotism

  1. Georgie M.

    Thank you, Gen. Satterfield for an uplifting, spot-on article about the 4th of July. This is what all of us should consider as we go about our daily lives EVERY DAY (not just on the 4th). Have a great weekend everyone!

    1. Nick Lighthouse

      Thanks Georgie. I will. I also will be spending time at the local soup kitchen (we don’t call it that any more). Helping the needy is what I do in my spare time.

  2. Otto Z. Zuckermann

    Great article and I’m glad I had the time to come here and read it. Busy day ahead. Why? Because I’m celebrating my freedom and that of millions of others. I’m not like the neo-Marxists, the Progressives, and post-modernists. Their legacy is over 100 million dead in the 20th century. The bodies keep rising with their ideology and they don’t even notice.

  3. Mr. T.J. Asper

    To celebrate the Fourth, America’s most prominent newspaper – the New York Times – is bidding for the trolling Hall of Fame by running a video, titled “Please stop telling me America is great,” that argues how America is “just OK.” Can you imagine me telling my High School students that. Wow, I’d deserve to be fired outright.

    1. Gil Johnson

      The NYT is full of a bunch of anti-Americans anyway. Why don’t they just leave? Let me think…. cowardice? Yes, cowardice.

  4. KenFBrown

    About two months after the signing of the Declaration of Independence, the founder of this newspaper, Alexander Hamilton, was serving under Gen. George Washington — and badly losing the Battle of Brooklyn. That time Alexander Hamilton founded America’s oldest daily newspaper. How hopeless must the cause have seemed in their quiet moments, haunted by the foreboding sense that their newborn nation would perish. Many of us have the same fear today.

  5. Sadako Red

    On this Independence Day, there must be no apologies for the greatest nation that has ever existed. Today, we celebrate the unabashed glory and goodness of the United States of America.

    1. Xavier Bordon

      Hi “Red” hope you are well. Great to see you on Gen. Satterfield’s website this July 4th. I love your articles and I am, of course, a big fan. Your patriotism is noted. Now I’m an ever bigger fan.

    2. Watson Bell

      Hi, Sadako Red. Excellent comment. Wonder to be free on the 4th of July. Your writings are inspiring and today’s article by Gen. Satterfield is also a great read. Keep up your work to help keep people free.

    3. Tony B. Custer

      Good to see you on this wonderful morning where we are celebrating the birth of the US and the birth of an experiment in freedom for all. And I mean for all. We may not be perfect but the alternative, socialism/communism/fascism have been in the dustbin of history for a long time, the crazies who believe in it just haven’t figured it out yet.

      1. Linux Man

        Hi Tony, yes RED is an engaging writer and I too would like to see more of him here in these leadership pages.

  6. Wendy Holmes

    For the haters, it’s open season on the American ideal. And that is why I’m standing up for the flag and for America. We are a great nation and are willing and able to help others. Its’ always been that way and will always be that way unless the ultra-leftist radicals take over.

    1. Harry Donner

      So true and good to hear from you this July 4th morning. Thank you Wendy.

  7. Yusaf from Texas

    Another excellent, well-written article. Thanks.

  8. Max Foster

    Everybody knows America is number one, which is why, even among the hating class of Americans, no one ever leaves. Ta-Nehisi Coates and Spike Lee haven’t moved to France. Gavin Newsom isn’t moving to Mexico. Colin Kaepernick isn’t moving to Cuba. Lena Dunham, Bryan Cranston, Barbra Streisand and all the other celebrities who threatened/promised to move to Canada are still here. Hell, we can’t even get the Canadian-born whiners and haters (like Seth Rogen and Jim Carrey) to move back.

    1. Randy Goodman

      Yeah, why don’t they move away? Easy answer. They know they are themselves lying (the big big lie) because they want others to like them and love them for being “brave.” But, of course, this is a fake bravery (ha ha) which in the real world is known as cowardice.

    2. Eric Coda

      Pow Pow Pow !!!!
      You go get ’em Max.
      Naming Names, I love it.

      1. JT Patterson

        Loving it. Eric, you are da man. Yes, and this is again why I read this blog on a regular basis and give a number of the articles to my friends and family. Just keeps on coming our way with powerful hitting pieces like this. No cursing, just logic and a compelling argument. ?

      2. Georgie B.

        Eric, you are the one. Pow Pow Pow — he he he he he LOL (I’m not good at emojis).

  9. Valkerie

    General Satterfield, I enjoyed reading your blog post this morning. Well done!

  10. Doug Smith

    Wow, excellent post today. One of your best.

      1. old warrior

        Yes, a butt kicking article.
        Now, I’m headed out to get my grill warmed up for hotdogs and hamburgers. With my dog, my pistol on my hip, and my lovely wife and kids, I’ll be having a safe day. Don’t mess with me or my family.

    1. Nick Lighthouse

      Yes, Doug, one of the top notch articles. I love this website and keep on coming back to it. Not only is Gen. Satterfield a top-of-the-line writer but the comments forum is full of insights as well. For those who don’t read to the bottom of the forum, they are missing out. I highly recommend it. I only started reading to the bottom recently and have gained more than I would have thought.

    2. Greg Heyman

      Yes, and that is why we all are happy to read these articles and be part of a leadership group that is willing to listen and learn.

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