A happy 233rd birthday to the USA, amid all the other festivities ... Serena beats Venus in the Wimbleton Sister Slam, Lance rides again in the first day of the Tour de France, and Robin and I remember the 20th anniversary of our engagement (July 1 1989).
Some specific thanks to God that our nation values individual civil liberties, that those who protest (and I passed a few protesters on the way back from the beach today) our government are not arrested or killed. Our freedoms of expression and religion are incredible gifts, ones that I am very glad were added to the Constitution in the Bill of Rights. But our 233rd anniversary is not for the Constitution but for the Declaration of Independence. Abraham Lincoln recognized that the Declaration was the first document and that its values (particularly the self-evident truth that "all men are created equal") helped to interpret the Constitution (which at that time did not include slaves among "created equal").
So, I am also thankful for the vision of our founders that continues to shape our history, and to those who risk their lives for these self-evident truths. (Pics are from the Lincoln and WWII memorial, with the Washington Monument in the background, in DC)