What's on Annie's mind this week? Happy Fourth of July!

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Fourth of July has a lot of meanings to Americans...some think of the fourth as a time to celebrate our independence, some celebrate it as time off to spend with the family, many people just use it for an excuse to get drunk and shoot off fireworks. My feelings about the fourth have changed over the years, especially after becoming an Army wife.

I would like to be remembered as a person who wanted to be free... so other people would be also free.
~Rosa Parks

The holidays have always been odd for me since I do not have a family to celebrate so I would celebrate with my own tribe or as some people call it framily. But as the years have passed and I have gotten older, moved into my 40's I have started to reflect and search for more answers. How did we get our independence, what is the meaning behind it? how did our ancestors and founding fathers celebrate? I am guessing not by doing keg stands. 

If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.
~George Washington

Congress formally adopted the Declaration of Independence two days after signing the Lee Resolution, July 4, 1776, and the bell for freedom was sounded at Independence Hall with the Liberty Bell. But unfortunately, the British troops were heading into New York as the Liberty Bell rang in Philadelphia. General George Washington, while concentrating troops in New York City on July 9, 1776 ordered the Declaration of Independence read aloud to his men. He hoped that it would give the men a morale boost to fight for independence.

In 1777, the British occupied the capital city of Philadelphia while nearly two thousand of Washington’s twelve thousand men died during that winter encampment.

As I dive deeper and reread the Declaration of Independence, I could not shake this passage:

"He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions."

As being a Native American woman at first I was shocked but after sitting quietly rereading the passage I do not know how to react. Should we amend the passage? Have we grown as a country since 1776? How do we as Native people and minority communities change the systemic racism that has continued to plague our communities? 

While we float down the river, BBQ with family or catch-up on sleep I would like you to learn the true history of our country and other countries, to seek the truth and continue to celebrate our diversity while learning about our past. Not only today but every day.