Yes, today is a new national holiday. We haven’t had one named since the 1980s when we added Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. He was a great man of peace and freedom. And now, we have Juneteenth. Communication was terrible in the days of the Civil War, and word had not made it to the great state of Texas about the freeing of the slaves. That or the owners refused to communicate that message.
However it happened, I just read on June 19, 1865, Major General Gordon Granger, who fought for the Union, led a force of soldiers from Galveston, Texas. His mission was to deliver two very important messages: The Civil was over, the Union won, and his troops were to enforce the end of slavery, which was declared by Abraham Lincoln several years earlier. Unfortunately, not all slaves were granted the freedom they so justly deserved. No human should be a slave to another.
The South did not want to free their slaves. They still mistreated them and defied the law. Things did not improve for many years. We still have a way to go. We still have a way to go for freedoms for women and LGBQT people, too. It is not a single group that still fights for equality. No group, however, should have more rights than another. No one should lose their freedoms, either.
We will get there. We have to. To survive as the greatest nation in the world, we need to achieve what we were seeking when we all immigrated to America. Freedom. And from that freedom comes gratitude, tolerance, kindness, and love. We help each other. One group doesn’t support the other, but we teach and provide guidance. That’s what we do.
I get pretty upset with people who hate our flag or automatically think, “they are racist,” when they see her wave, in all her majesty. It is current, representing our growth from thirteen British colonies, who fougt the Revolutionary War. They won their freedom from the Brits. Glad we didn’t grow to 50 colonies! We would have no religious freedom, we’d mostly be the Church of England, pay outrageous taxes to the Crown, and no one would have blinked when Harry and Megan decided to live here.
The America I grew up in is not here anymore. That is both good AND bad, really. Good because of medical breakthroughs, and the wars we have fought, the freedoms we’ve regained. Could you imagine if Hitler hadn’t been stopped? Could you imagine if North Korea or China ruled our world? There would be no protest at all about our flag, and no angry one-hit-wonder Grammy award winner grousing. Too bad they feel that way. I believe they’re in the minority because of their opinion. Not because of their color.
The bad part about this not being the America I grew up in anymore is the farmers are not respected anymore by a lot of folks. Neither are Blue Collar workers. In the 1980s, the nation lived by the mantra, “You can make more money sitting down than you can standing up.” The computer industry boomed. You know what? You still need mechanics, skilled carpenters, electricians, plumbers, and a plethora of other trades. We need them. We always have. Add to that cooks, bakers, chefs, and those who prepare the food you go out to eat often through the week. When we were kids, we went out rarely for dinner. There was no McDonalds. We went to a restaurant my parents loved, and we ate spaghetti, which I’m sure was the cheapest thing on the menu. It was very special because we didn’t do it very often.
As for me? I am grateful and extremely happy to wake up in America every day. I always have been and always will be. Many brave men and women served under this flag to ensure we get to wake up under the flag of freedom. You will hear no complaint from me or the Babe. Have a great day, today, this Juneteenth. Be grateful. Be Kind. We all need it. Be happy as a baby who giggles from their toes on up. That’s happy! See you tomorrow!