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Our View: Happy Fourth of July

From Cortez to Mancos to Durango, and Silverton, Bayfield and Ignacio, we are all set to celebrate not just the founding of our nation, but the love of our country, with games, contests, good local food, a rodeo, a car show, parades, music and dancing, and more. Fireworks, too. A lot of fireworks.

On some days, our United States feels anything but united, as if it could rip apart at the seams. A hot topic this election season is the question of whether we are actually a democracy or a republic.

In a pure democracy, laws are made by the voting majority, leaving the rights of the minority largely unprotected. In a republic, laws are made by representatives and must comply with the Constitution that protects the rights of the minority from the will of the majority. The U.S. may be best described as a republic that is a representative democracy. Something to ponder on America’s birthday.

In recent years, the symbolism of our flag has come under question, with different meanings for different people. If one is hoisted in the bed of a truck or multiple flags line a fenceline, it signals support of a particular party. We’ve also seen American flags in front of homes alongside rainbow flags.

In the end, the Stars and Stripes belongs to every citizen and we look forward to seeing many flapping in the breeze this holiday weekend.

Lucky for us, to call ourselves Americans. So many freedoms to be who we are, and say what we think and feel. As journalists, every single day, we enjoy the privilege of the First Amendment within the Fourth Estate.

For those of us who have worked in other countries as journalists or military personnel or in other professions, we know the dangers of being under restrained, suspicious and dangerous conditions. Nothing like the good ’ole USA.

In celebration of all our country has to offer, please, join us in putting aside any political differences for the day. It’s the whole mix of us that makes the U.S. pretty great.

We look forward to all the booms and sparkle. Stay safe out there. Happy Fourth of July.