This week’s paper comes out on a special date — the middle of the year. We have finished six months, and have exactly six months to go. July 1 is the birthday of director Sydney Pollock, singer Blondie, Olympian Carl Lewis, gospel singer Andre Crouch (“My Tribute,” “Through it All”), actor Dan Aykroyd, and Princess Diana. July 1 marked the deaths of actor Michael Landon and inventor R. Buckminster Fuller. Fuller was quite an interesting person. There are some memorable events that occurred on this day. The first postage stamps went on sale in 1847. Also on July 1, 1776, the first vote on the Declaration of Independence was taken. All I can say so far is “thank God for refdesk.com.” It helped me amass all of these fun facts. So is the year half over or half ahead? It has been a unique year so far. Events joyful and terrible, encouraging and depressing continue to march in procession before us as we mark the days. Speaking of the Declaration of Independence, we once again celebrate our great country this week. It is not perfect but it is the best there is. One year I wrote about Flag Day. I did not write about it this year, but did you notice how the day came and went with no fanfare? What gives? My body will not subsist on what my parents ate years ago. My car will not drive on gasoline my parents pumped into their Falcons and Fairlanes years ago. And this country will not continue as values that previous generations embraced are now being ignored. Just as the church is only one generation from apostasy, so our country could be only one generation away from slavery, from (dare I say it?) ruination. We cannot continue to coast on the fumes of generations past and expect to get where we need to go in the future without our own choices. We must personally embrace 2009 choices for a 2009 life. To this end I encourage you this week to reread the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights and the subsequent amendments in their entirety. The Bible and the Constitution are alike in this — people don’t want to read them but want to enjoy the benefits that they promise. So make this more than what Paul McCartney called “just another day.” Reach Tom Rupp at firstname.lastname@example.org.