A parting thought for the July 4 weekend:
As a kid, I needed my brothers and parents to explain to me the difference between "Independence" and "Liberty." I think this says something about America.
Today is Canada Day. It used to be called "Dominion Day." It's the day the Crown united Canada's providences into one country. This is a common theme in the West: a country's national day is often the day disparate states became one. In Germany it's unification day. In Belgium, it's the crowning of the first Belgian King.
In the United States of America, our birthday was the day we threw off the yoke of outside rule.
We could celebrate the day we ratified the Constitution as our national day. Instead, we celebrate the day we exercised our right -- our duty -- to throw off a tyrant.
Other countries have other histories, and I think that affects their character. We have our history. Our act of creation was an act of defiance and an act of breaking away. That matters.
Happy Independence Day.