Independence Day

04
Jul
2014

Fourth-of-July-soozed

I read hundreds of news stories every week. Although I don’t remember everything, there are times when something sticks with me long after I finish reading and sparks memories or thoughts beyond what’s on the page.

July 2, 2014 marked the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Civil Rights Act, which ended segregation in public places and banned employment discrimination. I read accounts of people who fought − and many times died − for these rights, and I wondered if I would have had the courage to fight along with them had I been older at the time. I’d like to think so. I thank my parents for showing me that there is no difference in people because of the way they look, but rather the difference comes from their character.

On Sunday, more than one million people came out to celebrate at Chicago’s 45th annual Pride Parade, and the first since marriage equality took effect in Illinois. My younger self attended the parade for more years than I can remember, happily joining my friends in a public celebration of their lives. For many, it was a long and difficult journey to get to that place. I think back on those times with fondness and joy.

But it saddens me that we have much work to do. People are still discriminated against because of the color of their skin or whom they choose to love. Perhaps in my lifetime I’ll see permanent change.

Yes, as a country we’re not perfect. Far from it. But we enjoy freedoms that people around the world can only dare to imagine. People still come to this country to live the “American Dream” – whatever that means to them – and most of us are descendants of those who did the same. We shouldn’t forget that.

So, on this July 4, I’m about to celebrate my independence with a bike ride with friends. I’ll celebrate the fact that I can go for a ride whenever I want, with whoever I want. I’ll ride in honor of my parents who taught me everyone is equal. And most importantly, I’ll ride for those who are still experiencing hardships in a country where there should be none.

Serious stuff for such an enjoyable endeavor, but sometimes a ride should be more than just a ride.

For me, this is one of those times.

– Suzanne

Enjoy Your Ride
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3 Responses to “ Independence Day ”

  1. gswbike on July 7, 2014 at 8:00 pm

    Great post Suzanne. I agree, “Sometimes a ride should be more than a ride”. Absolutely, positively.

  2. Daniel on July 5, 2014 at 12:11 am

    Beautiful words.
    And yes, quite often a ride is more than just a ride.

  3. Darryl on July 4, 2014 at 8:52 am

    I rode with you this morning (here in Grenada) in honor of the same thing you did. Wow, now I can see another reason why you and I are connected….we share the same belief about the people of this world.

    Although I’m not an American, I am celebrating the 4th today mostly because I am a Child of the World and like to celebrate all countries and cultures.

    It’s nice here in Grenada that all races can live together and be friends. I really like that. I also love what your Parents instilled in you….” there is no difference in people because of the way they look, but rather the difference comes from their character.” Wise words indeed.

    Happy 4th, Suzanne.

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