THE BLOG

Why We REALLY Need This July 4th

07/03/2014 11:32 am ET | Updated Sep 02, 2014

There is a time in every country's existence, when its viability as a nation comes into question. Citizens ask themselves "What are we doing around the world?" "How are we helping ourselves at home?" and "What is happening to our country?" The U.S. seems to be at the doorstep to such questions today. With global conflicts like Syria, Iraq and Ukraine, as well as national issues with healthcare and unemployment, what do we have to look forward to? The recent efforts by the U.S. soccer team gave rise to the idea of reawakening U.S. nationalism, even for a brief moment, and there's no reason why this coming 4th can't help to carry that emotion forward.

In some ways, the U.S. soccer team's effort in Brazil helps to usher in the upcoming U.S. holiday. Flags waved and people's faces were painted red, white and blue. People from different walks of life were crowded together, in plazas, in bars, and in coliseums, to watch the U.S. team battle on the field. It's that drive against perceived odds that seems to motivate us as Americans, regardless of our cultural background or our nationality. When the going gets tough, Americans huddle and ready themselves for a fight.

So it makes sense as we go into the 4th of July holiday, that we remember more than just our Independence Day. We need to remember that as a country, no matter what our differences might be, we huddle together and ready ourselves for a fight when things look bad. Somewhere along the way, we lost sight of that fact, and became survivalists with an "Every man for himself" attitude. That's not America, nor should it ever become that.

The 4th allows us to be okay with flag waving and good old American nationalism, without seeming racist or egotistical. Personally, being the son of a U.S. Marine, I keep a U.S. flag hung on my front porch, 24 hours a day, 12 months a year. Our flag isn't like a Christmas tree that you have out for one month a year. Our flag is symbolic of our nation, and it bugs me as to why more homes don't have U.S. flags in their yards for more than just July 4th...?

We need this 4th. We need to look at who we are, and how we treat each other in America, not just what we're doing abroad. This 4th should cause more of us to huddle, not to separate ourselves by race, creed, or sexual orientation. It's time to really remember what Independence Day is for.

Because a soccer game, or a holiday, shouldn't be the only time that we show our pride in our country.