My clearest memories of Independence Day are my earliest memories of Independence Day: of sitting next to my Aunt Eva, who adopted this orphan boy, in the third pew back to the preacher’s right; in our small, little country church in Southeastern Louisiana. There I remember seeing a posting of the colors by old men, young men— turnip farmers, shade tree mechanics, hardware clerks, and barbers, who strained against old age to stand military erect, proud, and strong of heart. They wore American Legion hats, from WWI, and the younger ones, the fathers of my friends, from WWII and Korea. I don’t remember words, though I can see them speaking in my mind’s eye, like a silent newsreel of “our boys fighting at the front.” I do remember that they saluted the American flag, as they stood in formation at the front if the church. And I do remember some of them with a trail of a tear running through up and across and into the creases of their aging faces. That is when I would look up at Aunt Eva and see the tears in her eyes too. Sensory experience, we are told, make impressions. Impressions make memories. Memories make life. So that is how I recall the Fourth of July. It seems to me that the more distant the interval of time, the deeper the memory of such experiences—deeper yet no less vivid; more intense, in fact. I remember that as the Legionnaires, fathers, grandfathers, brothers, and sons, stood in front of our quaint church, the pastor prayed over them and we sang something like “O God Our Help in Ages Past.’ There was a solemnity about it. No cheering. There was more of a sense of thanksgiving to God for conveying His Fatherly protection to us through these farmers and mechanics and clerks and barbers. There was a connection between the Pilgrim’s pride and the Church and the promises and prayers that we were told were made long ago that was somehow entrusted to us. Some might think I am creating a “Christian America” in sentiment if not theology. But that is not what I remember and certainly is not what I suggest. The Fourth of July, as a child, was not about a Christian America we celebrated, but American Christians who claimed their land for God and His Son, Jesus Christ. And in that, they were no different than the pilgrims who came here and at least some of the Christians who signed that Declaration of Independence. And that day, that Fourth of July, gave rise to the longest standing democracy in the world where freedom to worship according to one’s own conscience is as sacred as the American Legion heroes who recessed with the colors singing “Onward Christian Soldiers“ as the minister gave the benediction.
 “What God Starts, God Completes – Reformed Theological Seminary.” 2011. 23 Jun. 2012 <http://fflbookstore.rts.edu/p-5-what–god–starts–god–completes–help–and–hope–for–hurting–people.aspx>. Michael A. Milton, What God Starts God Completes: Gospel Hope for Hurting People (Fearn, Tain, Scotland: Christian Focus Publications, 2007).
Hall, Douglas John. Thinking the faith: Christian theology in a North American context. Fortress Pr, 1991.
 God, Our. “Our Help in Ages Past.” St. Anne.
 Kidd, Thomas S. The Great Awakening: the roots of evangelical Christianity in colonial America. Yale Univ Pr, 2007. See also Johnson, Paul. A history of the American people. Harper Perennial, 1999.
 Goul, Sabine Baring, and Arthur S Sullivan. “Onward, Christian Soldiers.”