Monday, July 4, 2011

Independence Day

Reagan's first Independence Day was busy, but wonderful.  We tried to get her in the spirit Sunday with this outfit:

We thought it would be a good idea to sit her on this table in front of a vase of red irises (you know, red, white, & blue), but I couldn't get a good shot.  Many thanks to my mom, whose arm is featured in each shot, for her efforts:

Family shot:

Jessica found this onesie that I was eager to put on Reagan this morning.  
Believe it or not, this is the best shot of her in it:

Today was just not a great photo day all around:

"Come on Reagan look at the camera!"

"What if we all sit on the couch? . . . "

"Ok look over here . . . ready 1,2,3 . . .  no now this camera."

But, the food was good.

Cream cheese icing. . . 

For the cupcakes:

Reagan ate dinner with about 20 of her Grandmama Zeigler's relatives . . . & by far the two most entertaining & energetic were Reagan's cousins Joy & Natalie:

Reagan was ready to go home, 
having far surpassed her relative quota for one day:

The British, who just don't hold grudges, honored Ronald Reagan on July 4 by unveiling a statue of him that will stand outside the American Embassy:

This article discusses the unveiling and the unfortunate absence of Margaret Thatcher.  Jean-Jacques Rousseau once said that "A country cannot subsist well without liberty, nor liberty without virtue."  These two would be sickened by the lip service many of our current leaders pay to liberty & the absolute lack of virtue that permeates almost every facet of this nation.        

When he died, aside from the images of Nancy, this one got me:

Thatcher said that "Europe was created by history.  America was created by philosophy."  The philosophical underpinnings that bind this nation will not survive without virtuous leaders who can articulate and defend them; they are never, as Reagan said, "more than one generation away from extinction."  No one takes you too seriously if you lack virtue, no matter how many times we're told that a politicians' ability to lead has nothing to do with his personal life.  We are in sore need of virtuous leaders who lead by example, both publicly & privately, & who understand that public service is a privilege, rather than a way to secure a great pension & get an Obamacare waiver.  We should be far more interested in why our leaders cannot agree on a sensible budget than what they're posting on their twitter account. 

In the interim, pray for this nation.  Like every good blessing, it should not be taken for granted.  Sit your children down & sing patriotic songs to them or with them.  They don't know why this nation is special unless they are told; they aren't born understanding the philosophy Ms. Thatcher referenced & why it is superior to others that are piled, as Reagan said, on the "ash heap of history."  Boys become men, and men will not willingly fight & die for a nation they don't consider worthy of their sacrifice.  Tonight, my Reagan & I watched some fireworks on TV while Martina McBride sang the National Anthem, & I sang God Bless America to her while she was falling asleep.      

When I am fortunate enough to attend a football game in Tiger Stadium, one of my favorite moments is when the Star Spangled Banner is played by the Golden Band from Tigerland.  Everyone stands, the men remove their caps & place them over their hearts, the noise ceases, and 96,000 people sing in unison.  I hope to experience it with Reagan one day; it is the quintessential moment for someone who thinks college football is one of the great things about America.  This links to a video someone took of the National Anthem in Tiger Stadium . . . a warning to the non-tiger fans: it is preceded by LSU's Alma Mater.  

Geaux Tigers.  God Bless America.


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