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Reflections on the Fourth


The parade was fun, the barbecue tasty, the sunset at Indian Bay beautiful, the waves relaxing, the friendships solid and the fireworks colorful. After reflecting on this iconic holiday, I made a list to bring forth its meaning.

I am celebrating: our Constitution, our strength of character, open-mindedness, generosity of spirit, optimism, innovation, respect, civility, tolerance, watermelon, the environment, science, ethics, compassion, American rivers, spectacular national monuments and parks, our diversity, chocolate chip cookies, integrity, decency, competence, accessible public lands, moderation, intelligence, journalists, the rainbow flag, courage and ice cream.

I am honoring: Abraham Lincoln, the Suffragettes, Jeanette Rankin, Martin Luther King, John F. Kennedy, George Will, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Stephen Colbert, volunteers and local heroes, veterans, hard workers, good friends, family members, strong women, strong men and the majority of Americans who are really good people.

I am giving a thumbs up to: the opportunity to help those in need, the freedom to resist, speaking truth to power, the March for Science, the Women’s March, Indivisible, the right to vote, the right of freedom of speech, civil debate, Planned Parenthood, and the freedom to participate in any religious or secular group.

There is much to celebrate. Our democracy may be deeply flawed (we were ranked 21st worldwide by the Democracy Index ... Missoulian, July 2), but our strength lies in the diversity of our individual citizens who fight for greatness in all arenas. We are a creative people. We know how to problem solve. In these times of strife and division, we will persevere. For when we are given a bunch of lemons, we know how to make lemonade.

Nancy Teggeman


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