To Be Patrioic

SUNDAY, July 3, 2016

“To Be Patriotic”

Rev. Caitlin Cotter


Tomorrow is the Fourth of July.

This is my first Fourth of July in Santa Barbara, but from what I’ve read online, I imagine when many of you think of the fourth, you think immediately of fireworks on West Beach, a Spirit of ’76 parade down State Street, and of fried food and live music and face painting and sand between your toes.

This holiday may taste to you of hot dogs or cotton candy or corn on the cob or something else entirely.

Just saying “fourth of July” evokes for me the feeling of grass tickling the sides of my feet while fountains of light boom and bloom over my head, the songs on the radio synchronized to the explosions. I think of vendors selling knock off light sabers in Oxford, Pennsylvania, and of the time in Juneau, Alaska, where I went to fireworks at midnight, because we had to wait that long for it to be dark enough. I’ve been to Fourth of July fireworks in towns so small I had real concerns about bits of fireworks falling on me, and lived in urban areas where I could watch the fireworks display from four or five cities at once.

For me the Fourth is the epitome of Americana – the ultimate American patriotic moment.

Not everyone likes this holiday, of course. It’s a pretty tough holiday for family pets and for veterans and others with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or just sensitive ears. I’ll admit I prefer to watch fireworks from afar and I worry about loved ones who have been shot at and find all those explosions difficult to bear. And many people have complex feelings about this country, and about patriotism.

To read the entire sermon, please click here.