Maybe Not Where We Thought We Were Going


This Fourth of July holiday seemed a good time to remind ourselves of the wars we have been in since this Declaration was approved.

July 4, 1776 Continental Congress declared independence from Great Britain.

July 4 1814, United States at once again at war with Britain which was on the doorsteps of the White House

July 4, 1863 found the Union Army victorious at the close of battles in Gettysburg, PA and Vicksburg, Mississippi.

July 4, 1846-48, war with Mexico

July 4, 1898 war with Spain

July 4 1917, War with Germany

July 4 1942-45, War with Japan and Germany

July 4 1956-1975, Vietnam War

When I thought that I would make a few comments about the War for Independence, the Civil War and World War II, it took me a little time to realize that we had much more time at war. For a people who see ourselves as peace loving this expanded time at war has led me to think about our being in conflict that required Congressional support for at least 30 years of our existence (and this does not count the seven years of the French and Indian War while a British colony). Nor, does it count our military involvement in Iraq begun in 2003, and Afghanistan from 2001 to the present. I now see our resemblance to the Romans as they shifted from being a republic to a dictatorship. I have often wondered what led them to move from being a republic to the dictatorship of an emperor. This little exercise puts their political history into better understanding (though it doesn’t make me feel better about what I see as our direction).

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