Heritage is what we hand down from the past. In America, we hand down to our future generations the ideals written down in a rather small, somewhat dark, and very hot in summer, room in Philadelphia. They are lofty ideals, those ideals written into the Declaration of Independence, those beliefs in freedom and justice, what we are taught as our rights to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”.
After returning home from a trip to Philadelphia a few years back, I was struck by a picture of Independence Hall that I had taken. I was disappointed standing on the lawn attempting to get that perfect picture of that perfect building representing everything this nation stands for. But I could not get that picture, there was too much in the way.
And then it dawned on me…it was the perfect picture!
There it is, that building from history where it all began. In front of Independence Hall were people going about their daily lives. The building, itself, had a cloth draped over the lower part of its dome as repairs were being made. And in the background is our new America, the one of skyscrapers and progress, business and busyness. My picture showed my living nation.
And so we find ourselves in 2017 with new questions and new challenges in a country we believed had all the answers. Well, we don’t…but this picture encourages me to believe that we may still go about our daily lives while we continue to work to repair our mistakes. We can still strive, not to be bigger and more powerful, but to be a better nation and a better people.
I guess as I look at the picture of Independence Hall, I realize how much I believe in this nation, and its ability to live up to its lofty ideals…even if sometimes we really do fail miserably. And the heritage I pass down to my children will be theirs to pass down to a newer generation…and a newer generation…for, I pray, a very long time to come.
In response to the Weekly Photo Challenge.