What do we celebrate on the Fourth of July?

Recent events in Washington have shocked the senses.

No matter what your political convictions or beliefs, it is impossible to rationally comprehend or justify the recent shooting at a Virginia park.

Democracies are messy, inefficient, argumentative and disruptive. But healthy democracies are not supposed to be lethal.

Tensions have been high in our country for months with different ideologies claiming the high ground. A troubled man took a gun to a ballpark and wreaked havoc shooting at and wounding national legislators, aides and Capitol police officers. We must not allow our dissension to percolate into violence. 

We are better than this. 

Fourth of July is not only about barbecues, boat rides and fireworks, but also is an opportunity to refocus on the values that melded our country 241 years ago in a revolutionary experiment of government.

We cannot take for granted our liberties, our way of life, our government, our democracy. 

Lee County Spirit of Democracy (SOD) is hosting Civic Saturday: Values of Democracy at Harris Center in Auburn on July 1 from 9:45 to 11:30 am.

This is a nonpartisan program with speakers, patriotic songs and conversation. Plan to start your holiday weekend at Civic Saturday and remember the real reason for Independence Day this year.

Christy Dittrick

Waverly, Alabama

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