Editorial: A patriotic Fourth


Check out the photos from Monday’s Fourth of July celebrations in Rappahannock County.

“Liberty means responsibility. That’s why most men dread it.”

George Bernard Shaw’s famous quip came to mind this Fourth of July weekend as our elected representatives in Big Washington struggled to become fiscally responsible. Or at least pretended and postured that they were struggling.

Here in Little Washington and environs, our patriotism somehow seems more genuine and grounded in common sense.

Take our fireworks display at Sperryville’s Thornton Hill Farm: It may not have been as huge or as spectacular a show as that on Big Washington’s National Mall, but that does not diminish the patriotic spirit behind it. To the contrary . . .

Like the Sperryville Volunteer Fire Department itself, which organized the event, the fireworks show was more than mere show. It had a very real purpose, and a noble one at that: to raise money for this grassroots organization that provides essential services for the community.

Volunteer firemen, perhaps more than just about anybody else, know the real meaning of the patriotic phrase “shared sacrifice.”

When a small community like Rappahannock or the larger community called the United States faces a crisis – whether a building on fire or the country going bankrupt – patriotic Americans roll up their sleeves and pitch in to the best of their ability.

Everybody sacrifices to the best of his or her ability for the common good. Indeed, these selfless, patriotic acts are what help build the bonds of citizenship.

Americans in small communities such as ours understand this. Why can’t our elected representatives in Big Washington?

As any small business owner knows, in balancing the books, it doesn’t matter whether the needed dollars come in increased revenue or are cut in expenses. In solving our country’s fiscal crisis, patriotic Americans are no doubt prepared to make whatever sacrifices are needed as long as those sacrifices are indeed shared on both sides of the ledger. All that Big Washington’s politicians have to do is ask.

Walter Nicklin