The Spirit of the Divine Presence is within me, for I am called to share good news with those who are oppressed, to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom to those trapped in self-destructive loops, and to release those imprisoned by their inner struggles. – Isaiah 61:1

Happy 4th of July to all the No Reservations community! As we gather to celebrate Independence Day, it’s essential to take a step back and reflect on our nation’s journey. Through a big history lens, we can appreciate the grand tapestry of our past, recognizing the good, the bad, and the ongoing efforts to build a more perfect union.

Our country has always been a land of possibilities, a beacon of hope for many around the world. George Washington aptly described the establishment of our new government as “the last great experiment for promoting human happiness.” This grand experiment has offered countless opportunities for growth, innovation, and freedom. Yet, it’s equally important to acknowledge that this journey has not been without significant challenges and pain.

America’s history is a complex narrative of triumph and tragedy. While we celebrate the ideals of liberty and justice, we must also confront the darker chapters of our past—chapters marked by oppression, inequality, and injustice. From the brutal legacy of slavery to the ongoing struggles for civil rights, our nation has often fallen short of its noble aspirations. As we reflect on these realities, we are reminded that the work of building a just and equitable society is far from complete.

This country is still the land of possibility for many, and our vote is still the one tool that we have to set the nation on a course of justice, equity, equality, and respect for all of the many cultures and peoples that make up this great nation. Voting is a powerful act of civic engagement, a means through which we can influence the direction of our country. It is up to every one of us to protect that experiment not just with our vote but with our uniqueness and authenticity being catalytic variables that make this great experiment evolve and grow to reflect better who we are as a whole, instead of who the few want us to be.

Today, as we celebrate our independence, we must also recognize the ongoing struggles faced by marginalized communities. Our national motto, “E Pluribus Unum”—out of many, we are one—remains an aspirational goal rather than a present reality. In our journey towards a more inclusive and equitable nation, we must stand together, rejecting apathy and embracing activism.

We must stand together, avoid apathy when it comes to what is happening all around us, and wake up to the realities that we are standing at a crossroads. The road ahead is challenging, but it is also filled with potential. As Robert Frost famously wrote, we must take the road “less traveled,” for that will make “all the difference.”

On this Independence Day, let us commit to using our voices, our votes, and our capacity to build communities of love and acceptance. Let us strive to create a nation that truly reflects the diversity and richness of its people. By embracing our Authentic Selves and standing in solidarity with those who are oppressed, we can help guide our country toward a brighter, more just future.

As we celebrate today, let’s remember that our work is not done. The quest for liberty and justice for all continues, and each of us has a role to play in this ongoing story. May we honor the spirit of independence not just with fireworks and festivities, but with a renewed commitment to the ideals of equality, freedom, and authentic living.

Happy 4th of July, No Reservations community. Together, let’s continue the journey toward a more perfect union, where all are truly free and celebrated for who they are.

So, say we all, Amen. 

Rev. Harold Marrero

Go to Top