"On this July 4, we would do well to renounce nationalism and all its symbols: its flags, its pledges of allegiance, its anthems, its insistence in song that God must single out America to be blessed.
Is not nationalism -- that devotion to a flag, an anthem, a boundary so fierce it engenders mass murder -- one of the great evils of our time, along with racism, along with religious hatred?
These ways of thinking -- cultivated, nurtured, indoctrinated from childhood on -- have been useful to those in power, and deadly for those out of power."
-- Howard Zinn, July 4 2007, "The Progressive"
I can only hope that it's "respectful" to celebrate the idea of Independence Day independent of what this country represents, and instead with the ideology that the people we choose to surround ourselves with will help make this country 'better' through acts of kindness, creativity, and compassion. A moral compass doesn't come with a flag, a cross or an anthem...it's in our hearts, and it's to be celebrated on this day, so that tomorrow we can gain the courage to fight for what Independence Day was meant to celebrate...liberation, freedom.