Today is a special day in our nation’s history. Today, in 1776, the Second Continental Congress formally adopted what we now know as the Declaration of Independence. Two days before, they had voted to approve a resolution of independence, but felt that it was necessary to put out a statement explaining this vote. The resulting document is the Declaration, which in modern parlance would be considered something of a press release! It has been celebrated ever since, beginning on its first anniversary in 1777.
The American Independence Day is a fine day to remember what it is to be a citizen of this wonderful country. It is also a day to remember those who serve, who now and ever shall, I hope, maintain the freedoms upon which this country was “impelled to the separation.” Those who serve, not only in our Armed Forces, but as police, firefighters, paramedics, and emergency responders of all kinds.
I myself was briefly an emergency responder, a technical officer in the Department of Public Safety for a small Native American reservation. I provided security for the reservation during public events, ensured that animals were not mistreated, performed investigations, and responded to traffic accidents, the latter mostly occurring off the reservation when I happened upon them. I was present at death, though I cannot say I was ever blessed to be present at a birth. So I have some small feeling of what it is like to be on the first line of defense.
I have also worked as a government contractor, a payload flight controller for our civilian and military space programs, and in developing defensive measures for our nation.
Perhaps that is why invariably my writing seems to have the component of patriotism and service to country, and even planet. To me, heroes are those who do whatever it takes to ensure that people are safe and that right is always victorious. And I don’t mean that in political terms. I mean it in terms of morals and conscience. The guys in the white hats, as it were. It’s essential to me that my protagonists, while being fundamentally human and capable of error, always strive to do the right thing to the best of their understanding and ability. Because that same thing is essential to me, fundamental to my being.
After all, like so many before me, I, too, swore “To Protect and Serve.”
-Stephanie Osborn, July 4, 2011