This 4th of July was strangely quiet here in Philadelphia. Normally the holiday is a very big deal in this city. People flock to our neighborhood in droves to attend a massive, booming, concert on the Parkway, followed by a spectacular, equally booming, fireworks display over the Art Museum. But because of the pandemic, neither happened this year.
Sitting on my roof deck that afternoon, the quiet made it feel like we were a city and a nation deep in introspection, as indeed we need to be. These last weeks and months have brought to light so much that is crying out for healing in our nation, so many erroneous beliefs that need to be let go, so many injustices that need to be dismantled.
Every year on the 4th of July, the Declaration of Independence is read aloud in front of Independence Hall in Old City Philadelphia—a yearly ritual which I suppose took place virtually this year—and I have to say that despite all the injustices and flaws of our nation, I still believe in the words put forth in that Declaration. Just because they have never been enacted doesn’t minimize for me the importance of the vision they set forth.Continue Reading