Thursday Thoughts: Exercising Our Independence

Thursday Thoughts: Exercising Our Independence

That I’m posting a blog today at all about whatever subject I choose to talk about and taking whatever stand I choose to make is precisely the point of this week’s #ThursdayThoughts blog.  If I could pick one thing I love most about being an American it would be the First Amendment, and that includes the choice each of us has to express or not express our patriotism as we so choose, just as we may choose to express a religious affiliation (or not), a political association (or not) or heck, a favorite football team (or not – I’m in this second group).


I just watched a documentary this week about National Anthem Girl (you may have heard of her). You’ll see my review of the film in next week’s #MovieMondays blog. The documentary is about this young woman who set out to sing the American national anthem in all fifty states by the 200th anniversary of the writing of the song. I won’t spoil it for you and tell you if she did or didn’t, but what I found fascinating was that I was watching this documentary at all. Dare I say it…sigh. Okay, I will. I don’t even like the national anthem (audible gasps heard). I’ve said to others near me at a baseball game I much prefer “America the Beautiful” as a song and wish that was our national anthem. I think ‘O’ Canada’ is a much better song, aesthetically. It’s certainly easier for everyone to sing.









Did I just commit blasphemy in your eyes? So be it. Yes, I’ll stand for the national anthem at games, but sorry, I don’t put  my hand over my heart or sing it. That’s my choice, exercising my right to freedom of expression (or not), because I don’t pledge allegiance to objects, symbolic or not. I know some people will immediately be offended by this decision of mine, but I don’t raise a ruckus. I just quietly stand and let others similarly make their choice.


I prefer to show my support for those who are serving in the military or previously served via other means. I will give to veterans organizations and support candidates who look out for armed forces, veterans and their families left behind. But singing along to a patriotic song and placing my hand over my heart is to me a gesture, and I prefer real action to symbolic gestures. It doesn’t make me any less patriotic. After all, the most patriotic thing any of us can do is vote and I’ve voted in every election I could since I was first eligible to vote in 1988.


As you go about your Independence Day, I hope that you will ponder the various choices you have the privilege of making each day, from the moment you wake up and decide what to wear, what music to listen to or what TV show to watch, how to get to work or your usual destination every day, and I hope you too will celebrate not only the beautiful day outside and the joy of being alive, but the glorious freedom of self-expression we get to experience in our lives each minute of the day and often take for granted.



Happy 4th of July to you and yours. Be safe out there. ~ Chris K.




(photo by C. Kuhn)










  1. Movie Mondays ~ Monday, July 8, 2019 | Chris Kuhn Author - […] recently blogged on Independence Day about my own definition of patriotism and what I thought about “The Star Spangled…

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *