I walked with my children from booth to booth, the balloon animal guy, the camel rides, the Navajo jewelry, the shaved ice, an Independence Day at the park, thronged with Americans celebrating something…do they really know how precious and frangible this happy tableau is? And can they even name the menace that threatens to extinguish the future celebrations, to nullify their very capacity to celebrate what and how they wish? I savored the day at the park. I chatted and smiled and gladly spent my money on the hawked wares, not because this was an especially well adorned celebration, or because I had money to burn and kids to please, but because my heart has been heavy with the dread that I may never again feel as free or as blessed as I do today. It was a beautiful day in my hometown of Moab, Utah. The skies were especially blue and the abundant clouds vibrantly white and active. Set in a valley, in the very heart of the American West, Moab is the location of umpteen John Wayne movies. It is the home of the iconic sandstone spires of “Fort Apache” and “She Wore a Yellow Ribbon”. Moab has a rugged history peopled by the Utes, the Mormon Pioneers, prospectors and cowboys. It is the cradle of the Uranium Boom of post WWII, once dotted with motels and restaurants with the word “Atomic” in their titles. The demographics of this little town have changed over the years. It is now largely liberal and spendy, and family unfriendly with high taxes and a dearth of affordable homes. Despite its blue tinge, the spaces are still wide open, the rocks shamelessly rouged, the sky full of drama and movement, and unspeakable beauty in a 360 degree vista. This is my America, pristine, free and full of potential and beauty. But I am somber today. It is not the sadness of loss that bears upon me, but a serious resolve, and an adult reckoning that the cost to preserve the land of my heart, my America, will be great. And it will be I who pays the price for a restored and preserved constitution. I won’t wait for my neighbors to stick out their necks. I won’t wait for a forceful and charismatic leader to forge the path so I can follow. I take up my arms today. My voice, my time, my willingness to sacrifice being liked or popular, my “stern, impassioned stress”, will be my armaments. And friends, let’s use the miracles of technology to spread the messages of freedom, lawfulness, and yes, love, so they may blossom exponentially into the public consciousness. You are the freedom fighters. Lift your somber and serious hearts in joy and resolve, as we hoist the flag to celebrate our 234th year of Independence from tyranny. We will pull our country and our liberty from the brink of destruction so that generations to come will have hearts full of gratitude for the unalienable freedoms and rights given to them by a merciful and loving Creator.