I reflect on this as I start the preparations for our 4th of July celebration that feels like only a short time away--a celebration that commemorates the signing of the Declaration of Independence, which solidified the American colonies to fight for their independence from Britain. However, this year, the concepts of “Freedom” and “Independence” take on a different meaning, as we have been forced to live under the restrictions imposed on us due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
As I sit and watch the nightly news, it is hard to not become depressed. We are now living in a time where we have to self-quarantine, wear protective masks to cover our nose and mouth in order to go out in public, cannot gather in groups of 10 or more, must stand 6 feet apart, stand in line to enter grocery stores (only to find the shelves empty of essential needs, and I’m not just talking about toilet paper), and we cannot visit or bond with our loved ones, even if they are sick or dying. This America is radically different from the one we all know, and we all must support each other and our communities during this difficult time.
And that’s what gives me solace and hope--the strength of America and the dedication of our medical professionals, first responders, and other essential workers. All of these brave men and women are putting their lives on the line every day to ensure our health and safety and try to preserve a sense of normalcy in our lives.
“America was not built on fear. America was built on courage, on imagination, and an unbeatable determination to do the job at hand”
- MWB President Harry S. Truman, President of the United States
During the pandemic our Grand Lodge has done just that. Through the leadership of our Grand Master Michael D. Nicholas and the Brethren of our entire jurisdiction, we have done an incredible job of providing for the needs of our Brethren and their families. The pandemic is far from over, however, we must continue to look and plan for the future. Many events have been cancelled or postponed in the coming months, but I am hopeful that we will be able to come together and celebrate our Independence Day on the 4th of July with a new-found vigor by participating in our parades and festivities.
As a reminder, there are four parades that will happen simultaneously that day:
1. Takoma Park
2. Capitol Hill
4. National Mall
I will be monitoring the status of the four parades and will continue to communicate any changes or cancellations. Until then, we will proceed with our planning until told differently.
As usual, volunteers will be needed for the Palisades parade and a sign-up sheet will be made available in the coming weeks. We are hopeful all our Masonic families--Scottish Rite, Almas Shrine, York Rite and our Prince Hall Brethren--will show up and come together to make this 4th of July a celebration of our renewed freedoms and resilience, while honoring the birth of our nation.