Thoughts are scattered but clear on my early morning walk, a habit now.
Just off the island, there is a path leading to the southwest corner of Robinson Preserve. Upon entering there was no one about and I rounded a bend met with splashes of sun through the canopy of trees. I thought about Henry David Thoreau’s WALDEN and of the last few sentences a good friend recently reminded me: “Only that day dawns to which we are awake. There is more day to dawn. The sun is but a morning star.”
Further on, there were few people, socially distant but with masks at the ready, and I began thinking about the coming weekend and the prediction of large numbers of people on the island. Then more scattered thoughts, the first about a year or more old Pew Research Center survey of American people less optimistic about our future. That was sticking with me for too long until my thoughts focused on Independence Day, and our founders and their dream of the American experiment nearly 250 years ago. I thought about my mother’s brothers and my father and his brothers, all part of the greatest generation that preserved for us that ideal, our republic, when other parts of the world were cornered by fascism.
“Let Freedom Ring” entered my head. I finished my walk and headed home and remembered that Dr. King alluded to those words in his I HAVE A DREAM speech in August of 1963. I read it and found these lines:
“In a sense we've come to our nation's capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir.”
We are heirs to a great idea given to us by others and protected for us by yet others. Can we rededicate ourselves to its preservation?
I know the crowded island this weekend may be more about festival than the history of our freedom. That is alright. Festival is permitted by freedom and I will get a chance to remind a few folks about how we got it and how we must keep it.
The author of this post is Tom Aposporos, a licensed real estate broker in both Florida and New York. In a business career of more than four decades, he also served as mayor of his home city, a commissioner in his adopted island city, and chaired a publicly-owned bank through a period of financial recovery. These experiences have enhanced his knowledge and have brought additional dimension to his real estate career.